When childhood friends Kuldeep, a Rajput, and Monica, a Gujjar, decided to tie the knot in 2006, they raised the hackles of members of their community, including their family members. Though gradually things seemed to be returning to normal as they moved back to Ashok Vihar from Janakpuri, with feelers from Monica's family, neither had their act of defiance been forgotten, nor had they been forgiven, reports Times of India.
The challenge to the established order had opened a gaping wound which was festering for long. All it needed was another jab in the form of Khusboo marrying a Kashmiri, Ravi. Her sister, Shubha, who too was close to a boy from Bihar, incurred the ire of her family by reportedly helping Khushboo.
Ankit and Mandeep, say the cops, saw Monica as the one who had dealt the first blow to the community and allegedly hatched a plot to kill her and Shubha — perhaps Khusboo too — to set an example.
By all accounts, Monica was taken unawares at her rented accommodation in Ashok Vihar — police said it was a friendly entry — when she was killed with a single shot in the head. Kuldeep was found with two bullets (one in his head) inside his Esteem car, 200 metres from his residence.
The cops said they found Shubha's body around 8am on Tuesday in a black Santro near a park in Ashok Vihar's H block. ‘‘A resident noticed the car. There was a foul stench coming from it. A PCR team found the body which was lying in the passenger seat next to the driver. Her younger brother, Sandeep, confirmed
Rahul had apparently been beaten up by Ankit a year ago since he believed that he had been the prime witness to Monica's marriage. In fact, a case of injury had been lodged against Ankit and only intervention by village elders could resolve the matter. ‘‘Perhaps, Rahul did not want another showdown,'' said a cop.
Singh said the accused had ‘‘brother identity,'' said joint commissioner (Northern Range) Karnal Singh.
Police suspect that Ankit and Mandeep are behind Shubha's murder too. ‘‘Monica's father, Jai Singh Nagar, told us that his son, Mandeep, had asked his youngest sister, Shubha, to come along with him to locate Khushboo who had eloped with Ravi,'' said DCP (northwest) N S Bundela.
Joint CP Singh said the Santro belonged to a Rajput family staying in Wazirpur where the accused resided. ‘‘The car's owner has been found to be one Rahul, a distant cousin of Kuldeep. He said the accused had come to their house around 6pm on Sunday and asked for the Santro for a few hours. The accused said since Monica had come back to Ashok Vihar, he should not hesitate in giving the car,'' said Singh.
He “borrowed'' another car — an i-10 — from one Gyanendra Sharma. ‘‘We are yet to trace this vehicle. We believe that the accused have used this to escape,'' he said. The murder plot was executed betweeen 6 pm and 11 pm on Sunday. ‘‘We believe that the accused first murdered Monica and then asked Kuldeep to escort them to Wazirpur to attend his in-laws' marriage anniversary party. They killed him inside the car. They then returned to Wazirpur to shoot Shubha. A few others may be involved in the murders,'' said the officer.
Shubha had left home a couple of days before Khusbhoo but returned the next day. A missing complaint for Khushboo had been filed at Ashok Vihar police station on May 25.
The couple married at an Arya Samaj temple on May 27 and is now at an undisclosed location. Khushboo has sent her marriage certificate and a declaration that she acted of her own free will on June 17 to the Ashok Vihar police station.
The police have issued a lookout notice against Ankit and Mandeep, as well as an associate of theirs, identified as Nakul. An unspecified reward will be paid for any information about them.