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Body in box: Ludhiana man killed youth for ‘raping, blackmailing’ his sister

Victim had allegedly raped his sister and extorted money from her for not sharing her lewd pictures, yet circulated the image through Instagram.

punjab Updated: Jan 21, 2018 14:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Ludhiana,Ludhiana crime,Phagwara
The accused were arrested from Phagwara, 11 days after the victim’s mutilated body was found.(HT photo)

The 22-year-old man whose mutilated body was found on January 9 in a Phagwara village, 40km from here, was murdered by the brother of a woman who the victim had allegedly raped and was extorting money from, the police said on Saturday.

Claiming it to be a crime of rage, the Ludhiana Rural police arrested Lovedish Singh, 25, and his accomplices, Harwinder Singh alias Feeta of Moheru village, and Jatinder Gill of Gohir village near Nakodar, for the murder of Gurpreet Singh alias Gopi, resident of Daherka village, Hathur, Jagraon.

Since the body’s discovery, the victim’s 82-year-old grandmother had kept the mortal remains locked in a wooden trunk, refusing to cremate it till the killers were put behind bars.

Giving details of the arrest, senior superintendent of police (SSP, Ludhiana Rural) Surjit Singh said Gurpreet had become friends with Lovedish’s sister, a Jalandhar resident, through Facebook. He had last year invited the woman to Ludhiana for a meeting and allegedly raped her, as revealed by Jatinder, a former classmate of the woman at the Lovely Professional University (LPU) in Jalandhar.”

“Gurpreet managed to click some objectionable pictures of the woman, and used them as leverage to extort ₹5,000 from her. The woman confided in Jatinder about her harassment, following which Jatinder warned Gurpreet of dire consequences if he contacted her again,” the SSP said.

Piqued by the threats, Gurpreet created an account on Instagram, and posted her lewd pictures and videos on it. He also sold some of the pictures to LPU students for ₹15,000. The woman soon found out about the account and circulating of her pictures and informed Jatinder, who shared the matter with her brother Lovedish.

“Indignant at his shameless audacity, Lovedish, along with Jatinder and Harwinder, came to Ludhiana on two motorcycles on December 30, and invited Gurpreet to the city bus stand to meet them and settle the matter. When he reached there, they convinced Gurpreet to accompany them for a ride and took him to Chachoki village near Phagwara, about 40km,” he added.

Once they halted, they managed to grab Gurpreet’s mobile phone. As they flicked through its picture gallery, they found the lewd pictures of Lovedish’s sister, and several more of 11 other women. Enraged, the trio chased Gurpreet, who had already made off, and attacked him with sharp-edged weapons, before slitting his throat, the SSP said.

“After Gurpreet did not return home, his father Jasvir Singh lodged a missing person’s report at Hathur police station in Jagraon. Meanwhile, stray animals fed on Gurpreet’s body that was found near Chachoki village on January 9, and a case of murder was registered at Division Number 5 police station in Ludhiana,” he added.

Since the murder, the trio had fled to Amritsar and remained in hiding. On going through Gurpreet’s phone record, investigators traced his last calls to Lovedish, and transferred the murder case to Ludhiana Rural police on January 18 to locate Lovedish.

The SSP said as Lovedish returned to his native in Jagraon, the local police managed to arrest him and his aides, who confessed to have murdered Gurpreet to avenge the harassment of Lovedish’s sister.

Family allege assassination of victim’s character

Unimpressed by the police claims of solving the murder, the victim’s family picked holes in the police theory. Gurpreet’s father Jasveer Singh alleged that the police had not presented them with evidence found on his son’s phone. “We will not be convinced till we see the objectionable pictures that the police claim were found on Gurpreet’s phone. This is nothing but distasteful character assassination of a dead man when the police could not find any other way to solve the murder,” he alleged.

Refusing to cremate the body till the actual killers were found, Jasveer also questioned why the woman, who claims to have been raped by Gurpreet never came to the fore before?

SSP Surjit Singh said the family had been informed of the arrests, and it was up to them to cremate the mortal remains or not.

First Published: Jan 21, 2018 14:50 IST