The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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A bullet for the bride
- 20-year-old survives suicide bid after killing paramour

Hazaribagh, April 30: That love is a deadly passion, a matter of life and death, was demonstrated once again early this morning when Rahul Dev Pandey(20) shot dead Beena Kumari, who was getting married to Awadhesh. Rahul tried to kill himself, failing which he jumped into a well. But villagers pulled him out and after a thorough thrashing, handed him over to the police. It was possibly because the boy was distantly related to the deceased that he escaped being lynched.

'We had both agreed to end our lives. But I failed to kill myself,' Rahul murmured in the lock-up of Chouparan police station. Beena, he claimed, wanted him to kill her first. The couple lived in adjacent houses and the two families were related. Rahul, a Plus Two student in Gaya, Bihar, was apparently so infatuated with the girl that he spent most of the time in her village.

Marriage rituals were actually drawing to a close in the early hours of the morning and the couple were getting ready to go round a fire as part of a final ritual when Rahul barged into the mandap with a country-made pistol and shot the bride from a point blank range. Shot in the forehead, she died instantly. Before shocked guests could react, he shot at himself but missed the target. He then clambered to the terrace and tried to cling to a high-voltage live-wire. When even that attempt failed, he flung himself into a well.

Strangely, both families today claimed to have been completely ignorant of the budding romance. The girl's wedding, they told the police, was finalised a year ago with Awadhesh, the son of a school teacher. The couple were formally engaged three months ago.

Deputy superintendent of Barhi police Satish Prasad said Rahul had first walked up to Beena's father and asked why he had separated the two. But before Suresh Pandey could react, recalled the DSP, the tall and handsome young man had pulled the trigger. Rahul's cousin, Ashok Pandey, and Beena's father are cousins and had built their respective houses together at the same plot. The couple, therefore, knew each other and had unrestricted access. The wedding invitation had been sent to Rahul's family members in Gaya and several of his family members , including his father, were present at the wedding.

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