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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

Meerut highway robbers attack newly weds, murder bride near Ghaziabad

The robbery and murder near a village between Meerut and Muzaffarnagar once again demonstrated that robbers can strike at will on highways in western Uttar Pradesh.

lucknow Updated: Apr 28, 2018 22:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Meerut
Police checking on highway after murder of bride and loot on Friday night. The bride was shot dead after she refused to hand over her jewellery to the robbers.
Police checking on highway after murder of bride and loot on Friday night. The bride was shot dead after she refused to hand over her jewellery to the robbers. (HT Photo)

Armed robbers shot dead a newly wed bride after looting her and her husband of cash and jewellery -- which they mistakenly thought was gold — and drove away their car near a village on National Highway 58 on Friday night in yet another reminder that highway travel at night in western Uttar Pradesh can be perilous.

Police said Shahzeb, a resident of Mimlana road in Muzaffarnagar, and his bride, Farhana of Nahal village in Ghaziabad ,were on their way home along with Shahzeb’s family members. They stopped for food at a roadside eatery near Partapur on NH 58. When they resumed their journey around 11 pm, four men in a car with fake number plates started chasing them and overtook their vehicle near village Mataur, barely a kilometre from Daurala police station.

An initial probe revealed that both the bride and the groom were from relatively poor families and the bride was wearing artificial jewellery, which the criminals thought was made of gold, the police said.

They held the victims at gunpoint and ordered them to hand over cash and jewellery. One of the robbers approached Farhana, who was sitting inside the car, and asked for her jewellery.

As the bride started screaming in fear, the robbers shot her to silence her, the police said. After dragging the injured woman outside, they drove away with the loot and the car.

Shahzeb and his family members informed their relatives, who were travelling in two more cars through a different route, about the incident. They arrived on the spot and took Farhana to the Muzaffarnagar medical college, about 25km away, where doctors declared her brought dead.

Police launched a manhunt for the robbers and examined CCTV footage at petrol pumps and Western UP toll roads to identify them.

Manzil Saini, senior superintendent of police, Meerut, said the police had identified the criminals’ car after examining the CCTV footage of the toll barrier on NH-58. “Four criminals were seen travelling in a car. They used a fake number plate,” she said. “We have formed four teams to investigate and arrest the culprits,” said Saini.

She said evidences gathered by the police showed the robbers’ intention was to rob jewellery and the car in which the wedding party was travelling. “It was a new Swift Dzire car that the groom’s family had hired to take the newly-weds home in Muzaffarnagar after the wedding in a Ghaziabad village,” she said.

The incident has again raised questions about the safety and security of commuters on NH 58 which connects Delhi to Dehradun.Police had claimed that security on highways in Uttar Pradesh had been tightened after the rape of a mother and her minor daughter off the highway in Bulandshahr in July 2016. Friday’ night’s robbery and murder have shown that night-time travel isn’t entirely safe.

First Published: Apr 28, 2018 10:28 IST

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