Mugowal: A young Dalit couple from Punjab were stabbed to death by the girl's relatives despite the police being ordered to protect them. Sandeep Rani (24) and his wife Khushboo (22) had known that their lives were at risk after getting married without permission, so they asked police for protection, which they were denied.
Rani's family then went to the Punjab and Haryana High Court where a judge ordered the police to provide the couple with security.
Rani married Khushboo against her parent's wishes. The Punjab and Haryana High Court later granted an order giving them police protection. Three months later, when they returned to their village, they were attacked by five men. The 24-year- old’s father, Parkash, too was stabbed when he tried to protect his son. His wife claimed Khushboo's father was among the killers.
Rani's mother, Udham Kaur, said when the couple then went back to the police to seek protection they ‘refused’ to honour the court order. After returning to their village in Hoshiarpur district the couple continued to receive death threats, so they went to stay with friends. When the couple briefly returned to their home in Mugowal village near Chandigarh, the couple were attacked and killed by five masked men carrying swords and knives.
Rani's family said their son was targeted first, and when his father, Parkash, tried to protect him he too was stabbed. Parkash is currently under intensive care. After killing Rani the attackers then critically injured Khushboo. She was still alive when an ambulance arrived, but died shortly after.
The couple, who were neighbours, had eloped and got married about three months before they were killed, against the wishes of Khushboo's family. Rani’s mother told police that the mask of one assailant came off during the attacks. She claimed to have recognised the attacker as being Khushboo's father, Sodhi Ram.
Hoshiarpur district police chief Rajjit Singh Hundal said the matter was being investigated, but denied the police were at fault. Hundal added that the couple had then travelled home without notifying officers....