Indian woman murdered, hand severed in UK

Police arrest Geetas estranged husband; honour killing suspected

Indian woman murdered, hand severed in UK



Geeta Aulakh, a receptionist with the popular Asian radio station Sunrise Radio, was attacked at around 7 pm on Monday as she was about to reach the home of her child-minder in Greenford area to collect her two sons, aged eight and nine years.
Police are investigating several theories behind the murder, including jealousy, access to the children or “bringing dishonour” on the family.

Some passers-by found Geeta lying unconscious on the street with severe head injuries and one hand severed. The woman, who was bleeding heavily, was taken in an ambulance to the Charing Cross Hospital, where she died four hours later.
The police arrested her estranged husband, 31-year-old Harpreet Aulakh, along with five other men. Harpreet is currently being questioned by the police for the murder that sent shock waves in the area and among the Indian community.

The “honour killing” theory was doing the rounds among the community after a friend pointed out that her right hand — with the ‘kara’ or religious bangle — has been cut off.
“It’s horrific but hugely symbolic that Geeta’s right hand was cut off. She was a Sikh and all Sikhs wear a metal bangle, the kara, on their right wrist. It is a permanent reminder to live a moral and good life and once it’s on, you can’t get it off. So her murderer was both dishonouring her and perhaps trying to show she had been dishonourable — which is just barbaric,” the friend told ‘The Daily Mail’. The woman’s post-mortem report is expected in a day or two. Acting Detective Chief Inspector Andy Chalmers has appealed to the witnesses to call the police.

Geeta, who has been described by her friends and family as a “smiling, cheerful and helpful” girl, separated from her husband Harpreet, or Sunny, about a year ago. The couple were in the middle of divorce proceedings.

She had married Harpreet against the wishes of her parents Nardesh, a receptionist at a doctor’s clinic and Lakwinder, a warehouse worker. Geeta was born in Britain to Punjabi parents, while Harpreet was born in Punjab.

Her mother Nardesh described her daughter as “a wonderful person, never a bad word to say, so lively and beautiful”. “We cannot come to terms with what has happened,” she said.

Marital discord

Avtar Lit, chairman of Sunrise Radio, said Geeta was “strong-willed and didn’t want an arranged marriage.

“She fell for this man when she was very young. Her parents didn’t think he was good enough for her. The couple fled to Sweden when they got married and came back a year later. Geeta was very hardworking and was the breadwinner and Sunny, as he was known, never seemed to have a job. This created quite a few problems in their marriage and they argued a lot,” Lit said.

On Monday, Geeta had left the office with her colleague, Seema Sidha, and walked part of the way home with her. Seema said: “We walked together before I caught the train. She said she was going to pick her children up from the child-minder’s. That is the last time I saw her”.

“That was her normal routine. She would drop her kids off in the morning and pick them up after work. This has been a terrible shock. Why would someone do this to her? She was my friend. I wish I’d stayed with her.” Seema said she and other colleagues were horrified by Geeta’s murder and mutilation.

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