Recovery of three bodies from a car on the Tanda-Hargobindpur road, about 45 km from here, sent shockwaves in the area on Saturday. The police identified the murdered trio as Kamaljit Singh (57) of Sikri village, and his friends' two daughters, Jaswinder Kaur (19) and Balwinder Kaur (16) of Bhagian village.
From the injuries on the bodies, it appeared that had been murdered with sharp-edged weapons and also bludgeoned with blunt objects. Police believe the killers - unidentified so far - were probably taking the bodies for disposal but left them midway. Mystery, however, surrounds as to what could be the motive, as the girls' parents have said they had left for Khadoor Sahib gurdwara with their "uncle" Kamaljit in his car.
The murder came to light after a passerby noticed the abandoned white Maruti Zen (PB-07-C-7980) in the afternoon and saw the three bodies dumped on the rear seat. He informed the police, who identified Kamaljit from a card in his pocket. The body of Kamaljit, who was earlier a truck driver but now a farmer, was wrapped in burlap whereas the other two were uncovered. Police confirmed that the car belonged to Kamaljit.
The girls' mother told the police that they had left home with Kamaljit around 5pm on Friday. She said Kamaljit was an old friend and had taken her daughters for a visit to the Khadoor Sahib gurdwara. Police are, however, not convinced, and are questioning her further.
The girls' father Gurdial Singh, a Home Guards jawan posted at Adda Saran, a few kilometres from their residence, also said that he was also told by his wife that the girls had gone with their "uncle".
Tanda deputy superintendent of police Karanvir Singh said a murder case was registered against unidentified persons. Superintendent of police (detective) Rajinder Singh, who also inspected the site from where the car was recovered, said it was too early to reach any conclusion but added that prima facie it did not appear to be a case of honour killing. "We are investigating from various angles and hope to reach the bottom of the matter soon," he said.
Meanwhile, the bodies were kept at the Dasuya civil hospital where post-mortem would be conducted on Sunday.