Woman, 2-yr-old daughter charred to death in Mohali
Police booked Jaspal Singh, an agriculturist in Dera Bassi subdivision of Mohali, and his parents after his 27-year-old wife and two-year-old daughter were charred to death at their house on Friday.
Even as the accused tried to pass it off as a cylinder blast, preliminary investigations revealed that victim Harmanpreet Kaur had poured kerosene over herself and the child, Jasreet, before setting themselves ablaze at their house in Dhananuni village.
So far, only Jaspal and his father Ram Singh have been arrested in the abetment to suicide case.
Acting on information that the woman and the child had been killed in a cylinder blast caused by a gas leak, the police reached the spot at 7am to be told by Jaspal that she had gone to the kitchen with her daughter to make tea at 6am.
Jaspal said he rushed to the kitchen after hearing his wife’s screams and saw the two engulfed in flames. He said he could not succeed in saving them.
WHAT RAISED POLICE SUSPICION
Recovery of a melted five-litre can of kerosene in the kitchen and the intact gas cylinder, however, made the police suspicious. Inspection of the spot too did not point to a cylinder blast. Nothing was found on the kitchen counter to show that Harmanpreet was about to make tea when the fire broke out.
Jaspal and his family even tried to cut the gas pipeline to prove that the fire had been caused by a gas leak.
Harmanpreet’s father Gurmukh Singh, too, told police that her husband and in-laws used to harass her.
Gurmukh told the police that his daughter had married Jaspal three years back. “He and his parents harassed my daughter from the beginning. He did not visit us in the last three years or even allowed her to talk to us. She did not have mobile phone and he used to beat her regularly,” he alleged.
“We have arrested the husband and the father-in-law. Further action will be taken after the postmortem report," said Gurwant Singh, station house officer (SHO), Dera Bassi.
A case under Sections 306 (abetment to suicide) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered at the Dera Bassi police station against Jaspal and his parents on the basis of a complaint filed by Gurmukh Singh.