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Newly-wed couple abducted, hacked to death in Fazilka; 16 including woman’s kin booked

An FIR has been registered by Moga police against 16 people, including the woman’s paternal uncles and cousins on charges of murder, kidnapping and other offences on the basis of a complaint filed by the man’s brother-in-law Sukhdev Singh.

Written by Divya Goyal | Ludhiana |
Updated: October 18, 2021 7:15:03 am
The accused, identified as Manish Ambekar, 44 and Anthony Jungli, 37, would call up their targets posing as women. According to the police, the accused have committed crimes in a similar pattern in Vashi, Pen, Alibaug and Rabale. (File)

A Newly-wed couple was abducted and hacked to death, allegedly by the woman’s family members who had objected to their marriage, at a village in Punjab’s Fazilka district Sunday.

An FIR has been registered by Moga police against 16 people, including the woman’s paternal uncles and cousins on charges of murder, kidnapping and other offences on the basis of a complaint filed by the man’s brother-in-law Sukhdev Singh.

Rohtash Singh (25) and Suman (23) had solemnised their marriage on October 1 in Chandigarh after Suman’s family had rejected the alliance. Since October 13, the couple had been staying at Rohtash’s sister Mamta’s house in Raunta village in Nihal Singh Wala of Moga.

On Sunday afternoon, the accused allegedly barged into Mamta’s house, abducted the couple, beat them up and then murdered them in the Sappanwali village of Abohar in Fazilka district. The bodies were then dumped at the main chowk of the village.

The couple belonged to Sappanwali village.

Police said Rohtash’s throat was slit, and Suman was strangled. Both had multiple injuries on their bodies, inflicted with swords, axes and other sharp weapons, they added.

Vikram Kumar, Rohtash’s brother, said that ever since the couple had gotten married, the Suman’s family “had made their life hell and used to roam outside their house with weapons”. “Due to fear, we had even left our house and hid ourselves to save our lives. Though both families are from the OBC community, they had an issue because they are zamindars (landowners) and do agriculture whereas we are daily wagers. My late father was a gardener. So they felt humiliated when their daughter married the son of a daily wager instead of a zamindar,” said Vikram.

Sukhdev Singh, Rohtash’s brother-in-law, told The Indian Express: On Sunday afternoon, around 15-16 people in three cars stopped outside my house and tried to barge in. When we refused to open the gates, they scaled the walls and came inside. They started thrashing Rohtash and Suman.

They dragged them outside the house and took them away in cars. My wife was not at home. I started following them on my motorcycle but they sped off. Suman was terrified when the attack happened and identified four men. Two of them were her paternal uncles and two were cousins.

They were carrying swords and at least 10 more people were accompanying them with their faces covered. They were shouting ‘tuhanu love marriage karwaun da mazaa chakhauney haan’ (Now we will teach you both a lesson for solemnising love marriage)’. A few hours later, we got to know that they killed both of them and thrown the bodies at the chowk.”

Sukhdev claimed that there was no caste issue as both families were from the OBC community.

“My in-laws (Rohtash’s family) are from the gardener community (maali) and the girl’s family is Kamboj, who are also OBCs. But still her family never agreed for this alliance. They always had issues because they felt it would be humiliating if their daughter married the son of a gardener. Both Suman and Rohtash loved each other since school days and always wanted to get married. Earlier also, 2-3 times, Suman’s family had warned us against this relationship but both were madly in love,” said he added.

Moga police registered an FIR under sections 302 (murder), 452 (house trespass), 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 148 (rioting) and 149 (unlawful assembly) of IPC at Nihal Singh Wala police station.

The FIR was registered against Suman’s paternal uncles Atma Ram and Mahinder Ram, her cousins Naresh Kumar and Mandeep Singh and other accused, Babbu, Paali, Sonu, Lekh Raj, Sheri, Dauli, Babli, Shindi, Babbu, Vinod, Heera, Kewal. All 16 are from Sappanwali village.

Sub-Inspector Nirmaljeet Singh, SHO of Nihal Singh Wala police station, said: “Prima facie, it looks like a case of honour killing. We are yet to make any arrests in the case. The bodies have been sent for autopsies. Probe is on.”

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