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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

Police negligence allows honour killing

Harjinder Sidhu and Kamaldeep Singh Brar, Hindustan Times  Bathinda, March 15, 2013
First Published: 21:50 IST(15/3/2013) | Last Updated: 21:52 IST(15/3/2013)

Jaswinder Kaur, 19, on Friday paid the price of marrying into a lower caste when she was killed at her in-laws' house here and her father was charged with the crime.

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She was murdered with a gun that the police should have long seized after the Punjab and Haryana high court order for her protection. The woman from a Jatt Sikh family of Khokhar Khurd village in Mansa district had fallen in love with private bus conductor Rampal Singh (25) of the Parjapat community and married him in September 2012 against the wishes of her parents.

On her petition, the high court had ordered the Bathinda police to give her protection from her parents. On Friday afternoon, however, her father, Mitthu Singh, walked in with a gun into her house here easily and allegedly killed her on the spot with one shot in the stomach. He was annoyed over her marrying to a lower caste, station house officer concerned Jaswinder Pal Singh has confirmed.

Rampal's brother, Charanjit Singh, is witness to the murder. The suspect was arrested and charged under Sections 302 (murder) and 452 (house trespass after preparation for assault) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Maur. The police have recovered the murder weapon, Mitthu's licensed 0.12-calibre gun.

Gun should have been seized
After the Punjab and Haryana high court order for protection to Jaswinder Kaur, the Bathinda police had written to the Mansa police to seize the arms of her father and uncle. The order was not executed.

"A serious lapse," superintendent of police (detective) Amarjit Singh Sandhu has accepted. "Had the weapon been seized, the woman would had been alive," he said on Friday in Bathinda. "We will inquire how her father and uncle could still keep weapons when we had written to the Mansa police to seize those."

It's also unclear if the couple was protected at all. "For a few days, the couple lived under police protection at Sanik House in Bathinda" said the SP. "Then it submitted in written that it would ask for further protection, if required, and moved out of the shelter. The SHO of Maur had this information." "We do not know where couple was all this time," said the SHO of Maur. "We found out only when the woman was killed at her in-laws' village on Friday."

SP (D) Sandhu has marked an inquiry to the deputy superintendent of police at Maur to find out if Rampal Singh and Jaswinder Kaur had sought police protection again after leaving the shelter for runaway couples in Bathinda last year.

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