Father Accused of Killing Pregnant Daughter and Her Family

CNN, January 1, 2008

A suburban Chicago man is accused of setting an apartment fire—killing his pregnant daughter, her husband and their young child—because the son-in-law didn’t ask permission for the marriage, prosecutors said.

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Subhash Chander, 57, of Oak Forest, Illinois, was ordered held without bond Tuesday on three counts of first-degree murder, one count of intentional homicide of an unborn child and one count of aggravated arson.

Prosecutors allege Chander used gasoline to start the fire late Saturday. The India native told police he disliked his son-in-law because he belonged to a lower caste and had married his daughter without his consent, said Cook County First Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Milan.

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But Chander’s sister, Kamla Devi, told WBBM-AM that her brother is innocent. She said that relatives approved of the marriage and that the caste system was not a consideration for her family in India, nor is it a consideration now in the United States.

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Devi told the radio station that the family is from Chandigarh in northern India.

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Milan identified the victims as 22-year-old Monika Rani, her 36-year-old husband, Rajesh Kumar, and their 3-year-old son, Vansh. Rani was five months pregnant, Milan said.

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