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Patiala ‘murder’: Victim’s husband,mother-in-law held

Patiala police on Sunday arrested the husband and the mother-in-law of the 28-year-old married woman who was found dead at her residence in Patiala yesterday.

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Patiala police on Sunday arrested the husband and the mother-in-law of the 28-year-old married woman who was found dead at her residence in Patiala yesterday. However,Mayor Jaspal Singh Pradhan who was among the three persons booked for the alleged murder was not arrested.

IG (Patiala range) Paramjeet Singh Gill said victim Parampreet Kaur’s husband Harpreet Singh and her mother-in- law Paramjeet Kaur had been arrested. “We had registered a case based on the statements given by the girl’s family. The arrest of the mayor has been kept pending till further investigations,” Gill told Chandigarh Newsline.

The Patiala police which had been dragging its feet over the case since Saturday was not ready to arrest the mother-in-law despite the victim’s family having blamed her for torture. “We had to block the Sangrur-Nabha road for over three hours to force the police to take action. We were told that Harpreet had been arrested and no one else. When we demanded that the mother-in-law and the mayor be also arrested,we were pressured and even threatened by the SDM and the police,” said Tejinder Singh Sodhi,the victim’s maternal uncle.

The police officers,including SSP Gurpreet Singh Gill and SHO of the Kotwali police station Sukhamrit Singh,avoided talking to the press.

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With the police going into a virtual hiding through the day,rumour mills worked overtime with many in the city alleging that the mayor had managed to pressure the police into inaction and even got his name deleted from the FIR.

“The mayor’s name is in the FIR. We have been told by the police that they are gathering evidence against the mayor before arresting him. But we are not sure if the police will arrest him. In case the mayor is not arrested in the next two days,we will move the High Court demanding a CBI inquiry into the death as also the role played by the police in trying to save the mayor,” added Sodhi.

The victim’s family refused to collect the body from the hospital and said till the three accused were arrested,they would not cremate the body. “We kept the highway blocked. When the police finally arrested the mother-in-law and showed us pictures of her sitting in the thana,we collected the body and cremated it,” added Sodhi.

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The Patiala police had booked Pradhan and two others on charges of murder of the 28-year-old married woman. The FIR mentioned Pradhan as the father-in-law of the deceased and Paramjeet as the mother-in-law and Harpreet Singh as Pardhan’s son.

The victim was married to Harpreet Singh nine years ago and had two children,a six-year-old daughter and a five- year-old son. Her mother had died six months after her marriage. Her family alleged that Harpreet and his mother used to torture her and finally murdered her.

“For the past two years Harpreet had been asking for a divorce and since Parampreet refused,he used to misbehave with her. Everyone knew that it was the mayor who was running this household as the man of the house. We met the mayor in October last year,a month after he became the mayor. I told him to tell his family not to torture our daughter. He assured us that he will intervene and get the issue resolved.

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But he did not do anything. The matter came to a head and now she is dead,” said Sodhi.

First published on: 25-02-2013 at 03:41 IST
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