Within 24 hours of the murder of an old couple here, the police on Sunday claimed to have arrested the five suspects.
The killing was under the cover of robbery but it's the couple's son and daughter-in-law who had plotted it for property, the investigators have claimed. On Friday night at Mandi-Kalan village of this district, Mohinder Singh (65) and his wife, Gurmeet Kaur (60), were attacked with iron rods in sleep inside their house. Mohinder Singh died on the spot, and Gurmeet Kaur died on Sunday morning at the Bathinda Civil Hospital.
The suspects, Malkiyat Singh and his wife, Jaswinder Kaur, told the police the robbers had locked them asleep and taken away Gurmeet's earrings and Rs 10,000 from Mohinder's trunk. Malkiyat Singh (40), couple's son, in a report lodged with the police on Saturday, stated he had found only around 6am on Saturday that his wife and he had been locked inside. "He said he had called up villagers to come and open the door, and claimed he had heard no scream at night," senior superintendent of police Sukhchain Singh Gill said here on Sunday.
The police have a theory that the suspects hired people to lock them up and kill the couple. "Suspects Paramjit Singh and Sikander Singh of Mansa's Jhunir block had liquor in the room after committing the double murder," said SSP Gill. "The couple's son, Malkiyat Singh; daughter-in-law Jaswinder Kaur; Nirmal Singh, a cousin of Jaswinder Kaur; and hired murderers Paramjit Singh (18) and Sikander Singh (25) are under arrest."
"It was a planned murder, which the suspects wanted to give the appearance of a robbery," the SSP added. "Around 11pm on Friday, one of the suspects scaled the wall to enter the house and opened the gate for his partner, who dragged a motorcycle in and parked it there."
The police claim to have secured a confession from suspect Malkiyat Singh that his father was likely to transfer his land to maybe a woman with whom he had illicit relations or her relatives. "Suspected killers Paramjit Singh and Sikander Singh told us that Nirmal Singh, a cousin of suspects Jaswinder Kaur, had given them the contract to kill the old couple," said the SSP. "The deal was that they would keep the victim's earrings and Rs 1 lakh cash after the murder."