Cou­ple stabbed, their throats slit in sleep

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - METRO - Vaib­hav Jha vaib­hav.jha@htlive.com

GREATER NOIDA: A cou­ple was beaten up, stabbed and their throats slit by uniden­ti­fied as­sailants on the in­ter­ven­ing night of Fri­day and Satur­day in Ja­malpur vil­lage of Greater Noida. The sit­u­a­tion in the vil­lage re­mained tense all day as ag­grieved rel­a­tives and vil­lagers re­fused to cre­mate the bod­ies un­til the per­pe­tra­tors are caught.

An­other cou­ple, who lived 200 me­tres away from the vic­tims’ house, was also at­tacked in a sim­i­lar man­ner. How­ever, the ac­cused fled the scene af­ter those two raised the alarm, at­tract­ing the at­ten­tion of vil­lagers.

A heavy po­lice force was de­ployed in the vil­lage since Satur­day morn­ing even as se­nior po­lice of­fi­cers spoke to the vic­tims’ fam­ily to as­cer­tain the mo­tive be­hind the dou­ble mur­der.

The in­ci­dent took place around 1am Satur­day. Azad Singh alias Kalu (63) and his wife Ved­vati Devi (56) were sleep­ing in their an­ces­tral home in Ja­malpur vil­lage when they killed. Azad Singh re­tired as a cashier from the Delhi Jal Board and the cou­ple di­vided their time be­tween Delhi and Greater Noida homes.

“My un­cle and aunt had come to the vil­lage a few days ago af­ter a rel­a­tive of ours died. We be­lieve around four men at­tacked them while three oth­ers kept watch out­side. My un­cle had a li­censed pis­tol but it is miss­ing,” Ga­gan Singh, Azad Singh’s nephew, said.

An­other cou­ple, Sud­hir Singh and Shobha, who lives near Azad Singh’s house, was also at­tacked around 2am. “The men locked up Sud­hir’s mother in a room and started beat­ing up the cou­ple. Sud­hir started shout­ing for help and when neigh­bours gath­ered, the as­sailants fled. The two were rushed to a pri­vate hospi­tal,” Ga­gan said.

The crime scene at Singh’s house, mean­while, as left po­lice per­plexed as the as­sailants did not take any­thing valu­able but had rum­maged through the shelves and cup­boards.

“Al­though no cash or jew­ellery was stolen, the at­tack­ers left the almi­rah, ta­ble draw­ers and lock­ers open. Azad Singh and his wife had taken most of their stuff to their Delhi home a few years ago and used their an­ces­tral house only oc­ca­sion­ally. We are yet to as­cer­tain the mo­tive for the crime as it could be a case of per­sonal ven­detta or rob­bery. Their rel­a­tives have not been able to tell us of any ven­detta, “Vi­neet Jaiswal, su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice (ru­ral), said.

The po­lice have lodged a case of mur­der against uniden­ti­fied per­sons and roped in five teams to probe the mur­ders.

The de­ceased cou­ple was dis­tantly re­lated to Varun Bhati, a para ath­lete who won bronze for In­dia in the Jakarta Par­a­lympics. Ear­lier, ru­mours had spread that the cou­ple was Bhati’s grand­par­ents. “They were dis­tantly re­lated to Bhati and were not his grand­par­ents,” Jaiswal clar­i­fied.

Till Satur­day night, vil­lagers of Ja­malpur re­fused to cre­mate the bod­ies un­til the per­pe­tra­tors were caught.

“We have de­ployed a po­lice force in the vil­lage keep­ing in mind the tense sit­u­a­tion. It is too early to com­ment on who the as­sailants were,” Dhar­men­dra Sharma, sta­tion house of­fi­cer, Greater Noida po­lice sta­tion, said.

Je­war MLA Thakur Dhiren­dra Singh met the kin of the vic­tims on Satur­day and as­sured them of a fair and swift probe. “The in­ci­dent in Ja­malpur vil­lage is heart wrench­ing. We are with the fam­ily. I have in­structed the po­lice to act swiftly and take strict ac­tion against the per­pe­tra­tors,” he said.

HT PHOTO

Po­lice of­fi­cers at the scene of crime on Satur­day.

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