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Another Kohli, this time in US
- American lands on trail of killer son-in-law

Chandigarh, Sept. 11: A couple of months before Maninderpal Singh Kohli is believed to have fled Britain after raping and murdering Hannah Foster in March 2003, another person of Indian origin suspected of killing his wife and mother-in-law went missing from the US.

Now, Kohli awaits extradition following his arrest in July after the media splashed sketches of the suspect and pictures of Hannah's tearful parents.

Inspired by the role of the media in the case, Vijay Narula, a US citizen, today issued an emotional appeal here for information on his son-in-law Lovkesh Vasudeva while accusing Punjab police of inaction.

Police in Clovis, California, have announced a reward of $5,000 for the arrest of Lovkesh, who hails from Nainwala Pattan village in Hoshiarpur, and is suspected of murdering his wife, 23-year-old Pooja, and her mother, 43-year-old Neeraj, in their Ramona Avenue home on January 10 last year. Narula has offered another award of Rs 10 lakh.

'I have been trying to seek help from the police, the CBI, the Prime Minister and the chief minister's office, but have been met with stony silence. The chief minister and the DGP have not even given time to discuss the matter or even express sorrow. Punjab police personnel have demanded money and things like getting relatives settled in the US to solve the case. I have been running from pillar to post for justice,' Narula said with tears in his eyes, as he held up photographs of the bodies of his wife and daughter. 'They were killed with a double-edged knife, possibly a meat shredder.'

Narula, a dealer in antique jewellery, said he has spent most of his time since the double murder in Hoshiarpur and nearly $200,000 to trace Lovkesh. But the police have not helped him, he claimed.

'They have not even interrogated Lovkesh's parents to find his whereabouts because they are influential. I am told he was sighted in Shimla recently but nothing was done to nab him. I suspect political pressure is being exerted to ensure that he gets away scot-free.

'I have also been threatened by police personnel, including a DSP, that if I pursue the case, I would be harmed. But I will not rest till I find Lovkesh and bring him to justice. That is my only goal in life,' he said.

The SSP of Hoshiarpur, in his reply to the state human rights commission which has also been approached by Narula, denied allegations regarding 'political patronage' to Lovkesh. He said serious efforts were being made by Hoshiarpur police to trace him.

'I believe Lovkesh, who has transferred money to Hoshiarpur in branches of the Oriental Bank of Commerce and Uco Bank, is in touch with his family. He will surface sometime or the other,' Narula added.

Pooja had married Lovkesh, but stopped living with him following ill treatment. 'We knew nothing about him or his family when Pooja married him. We gave him whatever he demanded, including money,' the distraught father said.

Narula said Clovis police have handed the case to the FBI. 'They (the FBI) may come to India to seek the help of the police here in nabbing Lovkesh. I don't want any family to suffer the way I have been suffering,' he said.

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