A groom about to put vermilion on the bride’s forehead in a room full of guests and relatives was shot dead by a man who had allegedly been after the girl.
As software professional Souvik Dey lay in blood, some of the groom’s relatives beat the 28-year-old assailant, Rajib Bose, to death.
The Saturday night tragedy unfolded in Halisahar, about 45km from Calcutta, where the families of both the bride and the groom live.
“The girl’s family members had lodged a complaint against Rajib in May last year. They said the accused had been disturbing the girl whenever she stepped out,” said Suvankar Bhattacharjee, the additional deputy commissioner of police, Barrackpore.
Bhattacharjee could not specify what action the police had taken following the complaint.
“An investigation was conducted but nothing came out of it,” the officer claimed.
Another officer said efforts were on to identify the persons who assaulted Rajib.
The wedding of Souvik, a software engineer in Salt Lake Sector V, was fixed a month ago. Close to 300 relatives and guests who had gathered at a ceremony house in Halisahar’s Nabanagar were busy performing rituals.
Just when Souvik was about to put vermilion on the bride’s forehead, Rajib, who had managed to sneak into the venue with a single-shot, fired at the groom.
“The bullet went through his forehead. He immediately slumped to the floor,” said a relative of Souvik.
Rajib tried to flee but Souvik’s relatives caught hold of him and beat him up.
Rajib and Souvik were taken to Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital in Kalyani, where both were declared dead on arrival.
“I never dreamt my son would die on the day of his wedding,” said a shocked Basudeb, Souvik’s father, a retired air force employee.
Based on accounts of the bride’s relatives, the police have learnt that the girl and Rajib, who worked in a hosiery factory, had known each other for two years.
“They came to know each other when the girl started going to a tutorial in Kanchrapara, near Rajib’s house, as an undergraduate,” said an officer. When Rajib got wind of her impending wedding to Souvik, he allegedly started pressuring her into delaying it.
Souvik’s father Basudeb, who retired as an office employee of the Indian Air Force, has lodged a complaint against Sunita’s family at Bijpur station alleging that the family had “suppressed information about the to-be bride”.