Rajni, 8, begged for her life, but her sword-wielding father was like a man possessed.
Apparently crazed and frustrated by poverty, Neelpal, a carpenter, hacked his polio-stricken daughter to death in Shantinagar here on Sunday morning - even as his wife and four other daughters looked on.
The shocking incident took place around 9am after Neelpal started shouting at his family members – wife Harjinder Kaur and daughters Sunita, 15; Geeta, 12; Rajni; Satwinder Kaur, 6; and Akki, 2. A daily-wager, Neelpal was said to have been out of work for the past about two months.
Crippled in both legs, Rajni tried to pacify her father. In a fit of rage, he pulled out the sword – which he had received during marriage - and hit her several times. He then threw away the sword and sat in a state of shock. His wife and other daughters cried for help. The neighbours called the police, who arrested Neelpal. The latter did not attempt to flee from the spot. Rajni was taken to the civil hospital, where she was declared brought dead due to excessive bleeding.
Purnima Singh, station house officer, Ambala Sadar, said the accused was arrested for murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the weapon was also recovered. She said since Neelpal had confessed to the crime, he had been remanded in judicial custody.
Simardeep Singh, deputy commissioner of police (DCP), Ambala police commissionerate, told HT, “Neelpal was somehow under the illusion that the world would have ended had he not killed his daughter. To a question whether Neelpal was influenced by any ‘tantrik’, the DCP said he had no information in this regard.
Meanwhile, Geeta and Satwinder have been taken to their relatives’ place.
‘Don’t kill my daughter’
Harjinder told the police and relatives that she and her daughters pleaded desperately with Neelpal. “Mein unhanoo kehndi rahi, meri kuri nu na maro, na vado, par usnoo pata nahin ki ho gaya si (I asked him not to kill her, but he was in no mood to listen).”
Neelpal’s sister Rajbala said he had been performing some rituals over the past two months and would tell her not to allow anyone to leave the house as the world was about to end. “Usnoo kuj upri hawa lag gayi si (he was under some influence),” she said, adding that had she known about his intentions, she would have taken Rajni away.
Neelpal’s brother-in-law Jaswinder Singh told HT that despite abject poverty, Neelpal had sent two of his daughters to school and had plans to send the others as well. Jaswinder said Rajni used to be Neelpal’s “dearest daughter” and he had taken her to hospitals in Jaipur, Panchkula and other places for treatment. He said Neelpal had been behaving oddly of late.