Father gets 2 sons, daughter killed in Panchkula, uncle held for murders
The accused claimed to have committed the crime at the behest of victims’ father who wanted to get rid of them as he had an extramarital affair, police said.punjab Updated: Nov 22, 2017 18:05 IST
A Kurukshetra man allegedly shot dead his two nephews and a niece at point-black range and dumped their bodies in Panchkula’s Morni forest on the behest of their father, police said on Tuesday.
The three children have been identified as Sameer, 11; Simran, 8; and Samar, 3.
The family belongs to Sarsa village in Pehowa block of Kurukshetra district. The crime took place on Sunday while the bodies were recovered on Tuesday morning.
Both Jagdeep Malik, 26, and his cousin and the kids’ father, Sonu Malik, have been arrested for murder. Sonu runs a photo studio in Kaithal.
Kurukshetra superintendent of police Abhishek Garg said Jagdeep has confessed to the crime and named Sonu as well.
Although police have not revealed the motive, Sonu’s father, Jeeta Malik, said his son had an extramarital affair, and insisted that it was the reason behind the murder.
The children’s mother and grandmother are still not aware of the murder.
How heinous crime unfolded on Sunday?
When the kids left their home to play around 10:30am on Sunday, Jagdeep followed them in his car, said Pehowa station house officer (SHO) Prateek Kumar.
He lured them into accompanying him to Gita Jayanti Mahotsav in Kurukshetra, but instead drove all the way to Morni, 110 kilometre from their village.
“He stopped his Maruti Swift at a deserted point and asked the eldest child, Sameer, to step out,” said Kumar, recalling Jagdeep’s confession. “Then he increased the volume of music system so that the other two children could not hear the gunshot.”
Jagdeep then took Sameer around 50 feet inside the jungle area, saying that he will buy him something to eat, but instead shot him with a countrymade pistol from the rear, said the SHO.
Then he returned and asked Simran to accompany him, and shot her too in the head after taking her around 20 feet inside the forest area.
Following this, Jagdeep allegedly drove for another 2.5 kilometres before shooting and dumping Samar in the jungle area as well.
Police are yet to recover the murder weapon.
Kept befooling cops, villagers for 2 days
It was around 2:30pm on Sunday that Sonu’s wife, Suman, alerted other villagers when the children did not return for lunch.
When the villagers could not trace the kids, sarpanch Karanbir Singh informed the police.
Meanwhile, the villagers thought Sonu Malik is at his photo studio and Jagdeep has gone to the fields.
By 6:30pm, Jagdeep returned to the village and along with Sonu, who came back at 8:30pm, joined other villagers and police in searching for the “missing” children.
“From Sunday evening to Monday midnight, we searched each and every nook and corner of Kurukshetra,” said zila parishad chief Baldev Singh. “We screened closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of the area where Gita Jayanti Mahotsav was held and even checked the dharamshalas, temples and sarovars.”
Sarpanch Karanbir, who was gathered along with other villagers outside the mortuary of General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula, to collect the children’s bodies, said Jagdeep used the same car to look for the children as the one used in the crime.
Another villager said that Jagdeep even threatened the police of protest if his nephews and niece were not found.
Police suspicion and confession
Baldev said Sonu was sitting on the front seat of his car when they were looking for the kids.
“No wonder he did not cry and was not as panicked as a father of missing children should be,” he said.
The police had the same inclination when they showed the Gita Jayanti Mahotsav footage to Sonu.
“Most of us believed that the children must have gone to the festival,” said a police officer, not wishing to be named. “But when the father was watching the footage, his expressions were peculiar. He didn’t look worried and was quite indifferent.”
On suspicion and on basis of some other clues, which the cops did not reveal, the two men were picked up from their home on Monday night.
“During quizzing, Jagdeep confessed to the crime,” he said.
On Tuesday around 5am, Baldev got a call, wherein all family members were called to the police station.
By 6am, the police team along with close kin, except the father, left for Morni. Jagdeep was also accompanying them.
“We reached Morni around 11am and recovered the bodies of the three children from separate locations,” Baldev told HT.
The bodies were taken to the Panchkula hospital, where the postmortem of one of the kids was conducted in the evening. The other two bodies will be examined on Wednesday, said sources.
Both Sonu and Jagdeep have been booked under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.
‘Extramarital affair behind triple murder’
Jeeta Malik, grandfather of the children, said that his son was having an extramarital affair with a woman from Himachal Pradesh.
“Sonu wanted to marry that woman and we had a big argument 10 months back,” he said. “But we all counselled him, and told him to leave the other woman for the sake of his children.”
That woman is the sole reason behind Sonu hatching the plot to kill his own children, said Jeeta Malik.
“I could have never imagined that he would do something so heinous,” he said.
Meanwhile, police are silent on the motive behind the triple murder, and have not ruled out this angle.
First Published: Nov 21, 2017 22:24 IST