"the day he is out, he will kill me and Harmanjit at first sight."
A young Indian couple has revealed that they receive 24-hour security protection over fears that there could be a family attack.
Their anxiousness has been heightened following the killing of a newly-married couple in their village of Naushera-Dalla.
Navdeep Kaur, aged 24, and her husband Harmanjit Singh, aged 19, were lucky to survive a previous attack by her family on July 29, 2019.
The attack resulted in Harmanjit’s father, brother and sister being killed. Navdeep’s father and two brothers had been arrested.
The intercaste couple has been living in fear ever since and are now constantly guarded by three security officers. Harmanjit said:
“My family has been finished just because I married a girl of my own choice.”
“My father even told the cops that he will kill us, no matter what. He said ‘The day I see them both together, I will kill them. Take this in writing from me’.”
Following the daylight murder of Amandeep Singh and Amarpreet Kaur, the Indian couple are even more fearful. Navdeep explained:
“Since Sunday, I am feeling uneasy again. Like someone is waiting to kill us the moment we step outside.
“Since the killing of my husband’s family members on the night of July 29-30, we have been confined to our home.
“Some of my cousins who had attacked the family that day are still roaming free. My own father and two brothers are in jail, but even then my father has threatened us from jail that the day he is out, he will kill me and Harmanjit at first sight.
“The only feeling on Sunday was the next could be us, anytime. Is falling in love such a big crime?”
The attack in July took place just a month after they were married. Harmanjit admitted that initially, the couple refused 24-hour protection.
Following the attempted murder, they requested 24-hour security protection.
The couple had been at the house of Harmanjit’s sister when approximately twenty armed attackers arrived. Harmanjit explained that three family members of his were hacked to death with axes.
Navdeep’s father, two brothers, cousin and brother-in-law were arrested and jailed. However, five relatives remain at large. She said:
“As they have not been arrested, we cannot move out. A sword keeps hanging on our head.
“Even my youngest brother who is just 16 and a Class 11 student was allegedly among the attackers.
“It all happened because my father hates the idea of love marriages.”
“Due to the fear of my father, my brothers became killers. Even my own mother did not support me and did what my father said. I cried, pleaded, but they did not accept us.”
The Indian couple revealed that their families had been good friends prior to the marriage. Navdeep said:
“Since our fathers were married in the same village (Dhand Kasel), both families met often. And then our own homes were at distance of a few metres in our own village.
“Our fathers were best of friends, but my father could not accept that I married his friend’s son.”
“More than caste, it was ego at stake for my father. He is currently lodged at Amritsar Central Jail but I have no idea where my mother and the youngest brother are. I have not seen their faces since I got married and shifted here.
“I got to know that my home – 600 metres away – is locked and my mother is living with some relatives, but I am not sure.”
Navdeep went on to say that it is now an invisible border between her and her maternal home. She feels that falling in love was such a big crime that two families have been destroyed.
Despite the fears, Harmanjit remains defiant:
“This can’t go on forever. I have to work, take care of my fields. Who will earn for us?
“We can’t stay locked inside our home forever fearing someone will kill us.”
“Currently, we do not even move the muddy kutcha patch of road leading to our home. But for how long?”
Harmanjit’s friend Shubhpal Singh explained that a lack of education is what makes people think that falling in love is a crime.
The couple had filed a petition in court on July 1, 2019, stating that their lives were in danger as a result of being married.
Indian Express reported that the court ordered Tarn Taran SP Jagjit Singh to provide immediate protection to the Indian couple to ensure that they were safe.