Even as a 21-year-old man was lynched by the girl's family in neighbouring Haryana in a case of honour killing on Wednesday, a similar incident of honour killing in Punjab went wrong when the mother of a youth was killed as she tried to save her son from his angry father-in-law.
Retired armyman Gurdeep Singh shot dead Manjit Kaur, mother of Balihar Singh in Brahmpura village of Patiala district late on Wednesday night, police officials said here Thursday.
Balihar had married Gurdeep Singh's daughter Kamaljit Kaur a few weeks back against the wishes of her family. Both had got married at the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Chandigarh, 100 km away, and had feared for their lives.
The armyman arrived at the house of Manjit Kaur on being told by relatives that his son-in-law and daughter had come there to meet her. He was carrying a .12-bore gun when he arrived.
As he aimed the gun in a fit of anger at Balihar, his mother Manjit Kaur tried to intervene to protect her son. Two shots were fired by Gurdeep Singh and the woman died on the spot even as her son fled the house to save himself.
Villagers later caught Gurdeep Singh and handed him over to the police.
The armyman was angry that his daughter married a man who was lower in social status and also belonged to the same village.
In some Punjab villages, marriages are not allowed within the village as boys and girls are considered brothers and sisters.
"We had sought police protection several times and had written to the police in this regard. But no action was taken. This unfortunate incident could have been avoided," Balihar Singh said.
Local police officials said that the accused had been arrested and the matter was being investigated.