THE court of Shahjahanpur additional district and sessions judge has sentenced a lesbian couple and three contract killers to life imprisonment for a double murder that took place in district’s Khutar area in August 2007.
The accused couple — Kamla and Shanti Devi — and contract killers Rameshwar, Ganga Singh and Vishnu Pal were sentenced on Friday for the murders of Kamla’s husband Suresh and his elder brother Ram Naresh. Following the judgment, all five accused — who were out on bail — were sent to jail.
“Police had found that the married woman was in a relationship with her neighbour. They planned the murder because Kamla was being forced to end the relationship. Additional District and Sessions Judge Shailendra Pandey sentenced both the women and Rameshwar, Ganga Singh and Vishnu Pal to life imprisonment,” government counsel Sanjay Singh Tomar told The Indian Express.
He added that three crucial witnesses in the case were Suresh’s father Pyare Lal — the complainant — Ram Naresh’s wife Kalawati and her son Rajnish. “While Pyare Lal had alleged that his daughter-in-law was having a relation with another woman, Kalawati said Kamla had opened the door for the killers. Rajnish also claimed to have seen the killers running out of the house,” said Tomar.
Pyare Lal, a retired government school teacher, is a resident of Sitapur village in Khutar. Both his sons were farmers.
According to Pyare Lal, on the intervening night of August 18 and 19, he and other members of his family were sleeping on the terrace when three persons entered the house. They first shot Suresh on the chest. Hearing a gunshot, Ram Naresh woke up and caught one of the assailants. However, he was attacked with a sword and shot. While the killers escaped, Suresh died on the spot. Ram Naresh was taken to hospital where he was declared dead on arrival, said Rameshwar and Ganga Singh’s lawyer Sarnam Singh.
Pyare Lal, in his complaint with the police, had indicated that Kamla was behind the murders. He alleged that she was having a relationship with her unmarried friend, who lived in the adjacent village and visited Kamla regularly.
Following the complaint, police picked up Kamla for questioning. During interrogation, she confessed to the crime. She told the police that Pyare Lal and Ram Naresh were against her relationship with her friend whom she knew for over 10 years. Kamla added that she came in contact with her friend after she married Suresh.
“A year before the murders, the two women had got married at a temple in Khutar area. Kamla also said she had changed her name to Suraj and her friend’s to Chand,” Tomar said. On the basis of her statement, Shanti Devi was arrested.
During investigation, it came to light that the women initally planned to kill Pyare Lal and Ram Naresh. Kamla contacted the three killers, whom she knew. But Suresh was killed as he was sleeping on Pyare Lal’s cot. On August 21, 2007, Rameshwar, Ganga Singh and Vishnu Pal were arrested with the weapons used in the crime.
Advocate Manender Singh, who represented the two women in court, said: “The motive behind the murders was that both the women were in a relationship and Kamla’s in-laws were against it.” All the accused were granted bail a few months after their arrest, he added.