Gurugram: Neeraj, a 37-year-old Haryana Police officer, bravely stood alongside his colleagues to contain the escalating communal violence from Nuh to Gurugram. Neither he nor his family had anticipated that it would be his final day of duty in uniform. Neeraj’s sacrifice in the line of duty serves as a poignant reminder of the risks our law enforcement officers face daily.
Having served the Haryana Police with discipline and dedication for 15 years, Home Guard Neeraj, a Muslim man with a Hindu name, was the sole bread-earner of his family.
As communal violence in the Nuh district of Haryana spread to the adjoining Gurugram district, the Kherki Daula police station, where Khan was posted, received frantic calls for help from panic-stricken citizens.
Neeraj, a resident of Garhi Wajidpur village in Gurugram, joined his colleagues as they went out to confront a violent mob carrying weapons such as guns, swords, iron rods, sticks and stones.
As his colleagues were attacked by a raging mob, Neeraj also sustained a number of grievous blows from sticks and rods all over his body.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on Monday evening.
Neeraj is survived by his wife Vakila, two children — Nitin (10) and Nikita (6), and brothers, Sunil Khan and Sonu Khan.
As the inconsolable family mourned the tragedy, Neeraj’s eldest brother, Sonu Khan, fought tears as he remembered the final moments with his brother.
“He was a fun-loving man. We met for the last time on Monday morning before Neeraj left for work. We were talking about fitness and workouts and Neeraj also joked that I need to reduce my body weight,” Sonu Khan told IANS.
Despite being Muslim, all the male members of the family have Hindu names, while females have Muslim names.
“We live in a Hindu-dominated village which has a few Muslim families. Since we were living in peace, harmony and brotherhood with our Hindu neighbours, our forefathers had decided to adopt Hindu names,” Sonu Khan said.
Even as this week’s communal clashes in Nuh and Gurugram threatened to rip apart the social fabric in the surrounding regions, the Khans are determined to keep the spirit of inter-community harmony alive.
Meanwhile, an official said that the families of deceased home guards — Neeraj and Gursev, who lost their lives in the violence, will be provided an assistance of Rs 57 lakh each by the Haryana Police.