The Inside Story
MEERUT: Two days after a 22-year-old woman was murdered in Meerut, police have arrested her father, an ONGC engineer, for allegedly killing her.

The arrest came on Sunday after the SSP Meerut, K Satyanarayan, confirmed that the "accused (Bhim Singh) had owned up to his crime". The reason, police claimed, was Preeti's closeness to Saqib, a classmate of her elder sister Neha.

On Friday, Preeti was to take some documents to her mother Shashi at her work place. When she didn't turn up, Shashi called up Neha and told her to check the first floor, where Preeti lived with her parents. Neha went up and knocked several times. Singh opened the door much later and Neha couldn't find Preeti. She informed her mother and Saqib. Both rushed to the house in Shastri Nagar and found Preeti in the bathroom, drowned inside a tub.

Singh (49) told cops that he attacked Preeti when she was sleeping. He first banged her head at the corner of the bed. When she became unconscious, he throttled her. He later dragged her to the bathroom to make it appear like an accident.

He said his daughters had failed him. "He told us that his elder daughter Neha married against his wishes but stayed back at their house. His wife Shashi Bala had also supported Neha. Now, his younger daughter Preeti was also not agreeing to marry a senior government officer," said an investigating officer.

Singh claimed his relatives told him that it was a shame that his daughter was planning to marry outside the religion. "The accused felt that he had to save his honour," said a senior officer.

According to police, Singh tried to convince Preeti to cut off all ties with Saqib and cancelled his plans to return to the ONGC office in Ahmedabad, even after his leave ended, to convince her.

"We got a call from Lokapriya District Hospital on Friday about a woman who had died abnormally at Shastri Nagar. We responded to the call and met Shashi Bala, who claimed Preeti was found dead inside their second floor bathroom, drowned inside a tub," said a police officer.

Shashi claimed she was not home when her daughter was killed and alleged that her husband Bhim Singh could be behind the murder. "Shashi said Singh had always wanted a male child and had frequently quarreled with her for bearing two daughters," said the station officer.

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