Rupesh Basoya had been campaigning against the drug menace in Taimoor Nagar for several years. He used to run a stationery shop, and was planning a vacation with his wife and two children to Manali to celebrate his birthday on October 27. In his free time, Basoya used to paint and teach the children of his area to paint.
He had learnt how to paint from artists who used to visit his shop to buy paintbrushes and pencils. “Gradually, he became an expert. Artists just had to mention the type of brush they needed and he would get it from the dealers. He was fond of designing and painting,” said Mahesh Kumar, Basoya’s cousin and friend, holding one of his last paintings.
Basoya’s wife Monu was inconsolable. He died in her arms, asking for a glass of water. His 12-year-old son Aditya and daughter Nishi had locked themselves in their room. Nishi had been promised by her father to celebrate her birthday at a newly opened fast-food joint in south Delhi.
“He was a support to the whole family since his childhood. He and his elder brother Umesh have not only been supporting their own families but also looking after their cousins who stay at the same building,” said Jatin Chaudhary, Basoya’s uncle.
Chaudhary said Basoya’s mother died while he was young and his father Ratan Singh brought up all his children single-handedly. Singh died six months ago and the brothers were shaken.
Family members said Umesh, Rupesh and Mahesh once led a protest to evict drug dealers from their colony. “Rupesh managed get hold of one of them but he tried to get away. Mahesh pinned him down during which the man attacked him with a blade. He suffered several stitches on his arms,” said Rakesh Chaudhary, a family friend.
The Basoyas have been staying at Taimoor Nagar for several generations. “The family is popular. Umesh won the RWA elections due to this popularity,” said Chaudhary.
People protest against Delhi Police after Rupesh Basoya’s murder