"We had been waiting to kill you," the attackers allegedly said before opening fire
Back home in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar for his son's first birthday, a Muslim man was shot dead, allegedly by his in-laws. Nazeem Ahmed, 23, was shot from point-blank range when he was out to buy a birthday cake for his son. His wife, 21-year-old Ayesha, says she wants justice, even when the alleged killers are her father and brother.
Before her marriage last year, Ayesha was Pinki Kumar. Mr Ahmed was her childhood sweetheart, whom she met in school.
While there are only 3,000 Muslims among the 13,000 people in Bhokarhedi village and the area was largely peaceful during the riots of 2013, her parents had objected to the wedding.
"My family had beaten me up, and wanted me to get married to someone else. But I was adamant to marry her childhood sweetheart, whom I knew from school," Ms Ahmed said.
The young couple eloped and married in 2015. Later, they settled in Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
Last month, they visited their village - the first since their marriage - to celebrate Eid. Mr Ahmed delayed his return to Visakhapatnam and the couple decided to celebrate their son's birthday in the village on Monday.
In the evening, Mr Ahmed had gone out with his uncle Nazr Mohammad. "We had gone to pick up money from ATM and then bought the cake. When we reached the main road, we were attacked by four men. They were his in-laws. While shooting, they said, 'We had been waiting to kill you'," Mr Mohammad said.
"He had gone out during the day to get a cake for our son Abdul so we can celebrate it. It was the first time we returned to his home with our son. But now I just want justice," said Ms Ahmed. The police have registered a First Information Report against Rajesh and Pradeep, her father and brother, who are on the run.
Village authorities are now focusing on ensuring that the murder does not disturb peace in the region. "There were some elements who had come from outside and had tried to escalate tension yesterday. But we are sure this is not a communal incident, more of a murder due to personal enmity," said Captain Gyanendra Kumar, the village head.