Ambala family mourns Chicago killings


Ambala (Haryana) : The killing of three members of a family by a close relative in Oak Forest area of Chicago in the US is being mourned by a family in this Haryana town.

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Rajesh Kumar Arora, 30, his wife Monika Rani, 22, and their son Vansh, 3, died after Monika’s father Subhash Chander, 57, set their apartment on fire Dec 31. Monika was five months pregnant.

“We were informed by Chicago police that the bodies were all charred beyond recognition. They have asked us to send identification marks so that their bodies or ashes can be sent back to India,” a sobbing Om Prakash, the father of Rajesh, told IANS.

Chander was arrested by the police and charged with first-degree murder. He told police investigators that he was upset that his daughter had married a man from a lower caste against his wishes.

But Rajesh Kumar’s family in Ambala disagrees with Chander’s claim that he carried out the gruesome act because of the caste issue.

“He is an alcoholic and used to fight with people and abuse them. He was nothing less than an extortionist. He used to force Rajesh and his wife to give him money. He should be given death penalty for killing three innocent people,” Om Prakash said Thursday.

According to the police, Chander sprinkled his daughter and son-in-law’s apartment with petrol, which he brought from the petrol pump where he worked. He then set the apartment on fire, giving the family no chance to escape.

Rajesh and Monika got married in October 2002. He worked as a cashier in a petrol pump in Chicago. He had gone to the US on a tourist visa nearly 10 years ago and was an illegal immigrant.

Though their son Vansh was born in US, his grandparents here had looked after him since he was seven months old. He went back to the US in July last year.

Rajesh’s family runs an electronics shop in this city.

“We do not even have the means to go to the US to get their bodies. We need help,” Om Prakash said.