Dalit couple lynched in Punjab ‘honour killing’

Hoshiarpur (Punjab) (IANS): The failure of Punjab Police to provide security to a newly-married Dalit couple despite directions from the high court led to a gory end for the young couple as they were Sunday lynched allegedly by the girl’s relatives.

Police officials investigating the case said it was a case of “honour killing”.

The couple – Sandeep, 24, and Khushboo, 22 – were allegedly attacked by four-five masked men with swords and other sharp-edged weapons at the house of the boy’s family in Mugowal village near Mahilpur town in Hoshiarpur district, 125 km from Chandigarh.

The attackers first targeted Khushboo and later lynched Sandeep, his family members told police.

While Sandeep died on the spot, Khushboo was taken to a hospital in Mahilpur town where she succumbed to her injuries.

Sandeep’s father, Parkash, who tried to save his son, was also brutally attacked. He was admitted to the Civil Hospital in Hoshiarpur and his condition is said to be critical.

Police have registered a case of murder against the girl’s family members following a complaint filed by the boy’s relatives.

The couple, who were neighbours, had eloped and got married about three months back against the wishes of the girl’s family.

Apprehending threat to their lives after their marriage, the couple had approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court for protection. The high court had directed police to provide them protection.

After getting the order from the high court, the couple had approached police in Hoshiarpur district. However, police did not provide them any security and let them go back to their village despite threats from the girl’s side.

Following the threats, they left the village and stayed with a friend in Mohali town near Chandigarh. The couple had returned to the village only a few days back.

Sandeep’s mother Udham Kaur told police that the mask of one assailant, who was later identified as the girl’s father Sodhi Ram, came off during the attack. Kaur claimed she recognised him.

Hoshiarpur district police chief Rajjit Singh Hundal said the matter was being investigated, and claimed that the couple had refused to take police protection.