In an early morning shocker, a 50-year-old man allegedly murdered two of his stepdaughters, attacked two others and fled on Wednesday from the Gorakhnath village near Pinjore, the police said.
He managed to escape but was later arrested from near Kalka Railway Station at night, they added. The accused was identified as Habib Shah, a native of Bijnore district in Uttar Pradesh. The victims were identified as Aasiya, 22, and Shifa, 18. Police said they had a heated argument with Habib two days ago when he tried to outrage the modesty of their 16-year-old younger sister.
At around 6:50 in the morning, Habib attacked all four the stepchildren with a long knife and a cricket bat. He slit Aasiya’s throat and stabbed Shifa multiple times in the neck. The third sister, Riya, 16, and stepson, Aaman, 12 managed to save themselves but they did get injured from his attacks with a cricket bat.
All the children worked at a private factory in Baddi. Habib’s second wife and their mother Sajjo Begum, 48 had reportedly stepped out of the house at the time of the incident.
Incidentally, a patrol vehicle of the Panchkula police was near the village and rushed to the spot within minutes when people raised the alarm around 7.10 am.
The SHO of Pinjore police station, Inspector Mukesh Kumar, said, “Two reasons came to light behind the crime. First: Habib Shah attempted to commit sexual assault against her younger stepdaughter two days ago in the absence of his second wife Sajjo Begum and other children. The youngest daughter informed her elder sisters, Aasiya and Shifa, about it and both of them confronted their stepfather. Second: Habib was annoyed with the two victims because they had broken their roza at their Baddi factory three days ago. We are investigating all possible angles. We registered a case on the complaint of Sajjo Begum.”
Sajjo said, “I had gone to my native village at Bijnore along with my younger son Aaman and returned on Tuesday evening. In the morning, I went to a nearby shop to purchase a packet of tobacco. When I returned after 15 minutes, I found my daughters in a pool of blood. Aasiya was lying on the bed and Shifa’s body was lying near the bathroom. Habib was missing. I ran out and shouted for help. Later, my younger daughter Riya told me about Habib’s attempted sexual assault…”
DCP (Panchkula) Kamaldeep Goyal, ACP (Kalka) Pawan Kumar and a forensic team rushed to the spot. Police said Sajjo had tied the knot with Habib in 2007. All her children were from her previous marriage and Habib had no children.