In a region infamous for sacrifice of youngsters at the altar of family honour for daring to marry against familial orders, a 19-year-old girl has been arrested for planning the murder of her own parents and brother who, she through, were proving an impediment in her marriage to the boy she loved.
Luck was on side of the young woman Manpreet Kaur's family as the kin survived as many as three alleged attempts on their lives.
Local police have since arrested Kaur and five contract killers and claimed to solve the mystery behind the murder of 20-year-old Jarnail Singh, who was a servant at Manpreet's house, on July 15.
Accused kingpin Karmajit alias Neeta, Sukhwinder Singh, Satgur Singh, Paramjit Singh and Ratandeep Singh were apprehended while they were on way to get Rs five lakh from Manpreet at Kanjla village.
SSP Harcharan Singh Bhullar said that the murder of Jarnail was part of the plan to eliminate the family as a whole but the contract killers somehow failed to kill the kin of Manpreet on the fateful day.
Bhullar said Manpreet, from a Jat family, allegedly had an affair with a Dalit Gurmeet Singh of village Kanjli, who was running a mobile recharge shop at her village for the past few years.
After coming to know about her relationship, Manpreet's parents withdrew her from school this year and complained to the village panchayat against Gurmeet. Manpreet wished to marry Gurmeet but her parents refused.
Thereafter, the panchayat restricted Gurmeet's entry to her village.
An upset Kaur contacted Ramu, a former servant at her house, and asked him to hire persons for killing her parents and brother two month ago.
"Manpreet has confessed that Ramu helped hire the killers who attempted twice to execute their plan but failed. On July 15, all five accused reached Manpreet's house while in regular contact with her on phone," the SSP said.
"Sneaking into the house, the accused attacked Jarnail Singh sleeping in the corridor with sharp-edge weapons. In the meantime, the accused panicked and left on the pretext that girl's father Avtar Singh had got up." Police recovered Jarnail's body in a pool of blood on July 16 and a .315 pistol along with three live cartridges.
Ramu has been lodged in jail since July 22 on charge of marrying a minor girl. "We will seek the permission of court to take Ramu on remand for interrogation," the officer added.
Talking to media persons, Manpreet said that despite requests, her parents did not marry her with Gurmeet, following which she decided to eliminate her parents. "Both Gurmeet and Ramu pressured me to take the step, while one Pandit Ravi was aware of all this and was in regular contact with me," she claimed.
As for money for paying the contract killers, Manpreet said her maternal grandparents had recently sold property and the money was lying in her house.
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