02 December, 2020

Guns And Poses

The murder of Jessica Lall shouldn't have surprised a city that's blase about guns and mayhem

Guns And Poses

THURSDAY nights at the Tamarind Court Cafe were "cool". Balloons bounced among the chairs, a makeshift bar and romantic canopies set the rest of the atmosphere. Delhi’s perpetually jaded, perpetually hungover social set had made it a point to drop in ever since bar nights started four weeks ago. And April 29 was no exception. Four of co-proprietor and socialite Malini Ramani’s friends "helped" out at the bar as usual, Jessica Lall among them.

It was 2 am on April 30 when Manu Sharma demanded another round of drinks. The request was refused, but Sharma was insistent. Malini said flippantly, "You can have a sip of my drink if you pay me a thousand rupees." Sharma’s risque response: "I’ll pay a thousand bucks to sleep with you."

As Malini left in a huff, Sharma drew the semi-automatic that was his constant companion and shot Jessica fatally in the head. He and his three friends walked out; nobody stopped them. Delhi society was in shock the next day over the death of the well-liked girl-about-town. To be killed over something as petty as a drink not served—who...



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