INDIA: In one of the most gruesome incidents ever witnessed in Uttarakhand, a man hacked his girlfriend to death on Thursday morning with an axe and thereafter attempted suicide himself. The accused, 21-year Pankaj Singh Lathwal had gone to the girl’s residence after consuming poison and after striking several blows with the axe in her head, hands and upper part of the body, he slashed his wrist with a sharp edged weapon.
While the Dehradun police is yet to ascertain the cause behind the incident, the cops opine it was a love relationship which went sour. The accused even claimed that some time back he had married the girl in a temple but the relationship was not approved by the family members.
Lathwal was from Almora district and had taken an accommodation on rent in Selaqui area of Dehradun as he worked in an industrial unit. The girl identified as Priyanka Joshi, 20, is from Uttarkashi district and stayed with her family in the same area. Her father Pushpendra is a security guard.
ASP Manjunath T C told TOI, “The girl’s father left the house for work around 5:30am. Soon after the accused, who had already consumed poison, came to her residence. He apparently after a heated argument attacked her with the axe.” According to the police official, Lathwal was aware that the girl was alone in the house as her mother and younger brother had gone to Uttarakashi on Wednesday evening.
“After the heinous crime, he slit open his wrist. We got a telephone call that the two were lying in a pool of blood in Priyanka’s house in Selaqui area,” he said. Manjunath pointed out that the girl was breathing when the cops arrived on the scene. “Both were alive and we immediately rushed them to Doon hospital but unfortunately the girl expired in the way,” he added.
Lathwal’s condition continues to remain critical and the doctors have maintained that the next 24 hours were crucial for him. “Initial probe shows that it was a planned crime as Lathwal had consumed poison before going to her house. We are still working on the case and trying to find out all the facts at the earliest,” said Manjunath.