UDAIPUR: Forty-Five-year-old Rajkumar Sharma and 49-year-old Ishwar Singh look nervous and iffy about their future even under Rajasthan Police protection, three days after the barbaric murder of their employer and tailor Kanhaiya Lal Teli inside his own shop that shocked the collective conscience of India.
Sharma and Singh are the witnesses of one of the goriest murders in the recent past where the assassins – Mohammed Rafiq and Abdul Jabbar – flaunted the cleaver covered in blood and brashly took responsibility on video – reminiscent of psychotic crime series made in the West.
While Singh is battling for his life at Maharana Bhupal Rajkiya Chikitsalaya in Udaipur, The New Indian reaches Sharma’s home – Babelo Ki Shehri in Rao Ji Ka Hata near Surajpol in Udaipur, his wife Pushpa, a home-maker, weeps inconsolably.
“Rajkumar (Sharma) is the only earning member of our house. During the season, he used to earn Rs 25,000-30,000. Who will give my husband another job? He cannot do tailoring now. Nobody will risk giving him a job in Udaipur,” she helplessly asks The New Indian team with her endless list of questions.
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Conveying her prayers through The New Indian, she said, “Please help us. Please help us get our voice to reach the Chief Minister. I just want safety for my family.”
Pushpa looked worried about sending her kids to school by road or bus in the coming days as much as she is worried about the employment of her husband as Teli’s shop has been shut.
“For safety reasons, we are not allowed to talk to anyone,” Sharma’s wife says as she refuses to step out of her home. She suddenly insists she would only speak on the phone or not on camera even as The New Indian team reaches their home. She pulls her 18-year-old son Kartik closer to her.
While Sharma ran for his life barely escaping by the skin of his teeth, his fellow worker Ishwar suffered seven-eight injuries in his back and neck.
“We are cooperating with the government but will the government take care of us,” she continued to ask without a pause.
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Her voice chokes as she recollects the docile nature of Kanhaiya, as she collects herself, saying, “My husband has been working with him for the last eight years. He (Teli) would never fight with anyone. He was a true gentleman.”
On a day when the Supreme Court rebuked Nupur Sharma over her remarks on the Prophet, Sharma’s wife sounds unforgiving to the Muslim community for the reckless act that also endangered her husband’s life.
“My husband and Ishwar ran out of the shop and started shouting for help. By the time people gathered the assailants ran away,” she recollects.
Ishwar’s wife Diksha, and his kids, Isha, a 16-year-old girl, and Jatin, a 21-year-old boy, are not leaving their father either at Maharaja Bhupal Rajkiya Chikitsalaya. “We’re just scared,” Jatin says, refusing to comment further.