Sukhjit Singh India death: Family friend says murder was 'dispute over land'

Sukhjit Singh and his wife Ramandeep Kaur Mann Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Sukhjit Singh, the father of two children, was on holiday with his wife Ramandeep Kaur Mann when he was killed

The neighbour of a British woman accused of plotting to murder her husband in India says he believes she is innocent.

Ramandeep Kaur Mann, of Derby, was arrested after her husband Sukhjit Singh was found with his throat slit on 2 September in Banda, Uttar Pradesh.

Their neighbour Nick Rai believes Mr Singh, 34, was murdered as a result of a dispute over land he owned in India.

Ms Kaur Mann has been arrested but has not yet been charged.

"They were a devoted couple, no doubt about it. They were devoted to their children, their home, their work and their local Sikh temple where he spent a lot of time and gave a lot of his time," said Mr Raj of Littleover, Derby.

In a news conference in India, a police spokesman said Mr Singh's throat was cut and he was hit on the head with a heavy instrument.

Police said Ms Kaur Mann had colluded with her alleged lover Gurpeet Singh, her husband's childhood friend, in the murder.

But Mr Rai said: "I believe that Sukhjit was killed over a dispute over land that he owned in India. It is my belief that his wife and his friend were not involved.

"I believe the real reason behind the murder… is that Sukhjit owned land in India and someone wanted to take that land from him."

He added that Mr Singh's mother had warned her son not to return to the ancestral property because he would be in danger.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Mr Singh was found dead at his ancestral home in Banga in Uttar Pradesh, about 450km from the Indian capital New Delhi

The Foreign Office said it was providing assistance to a British national who had been detained and to the family of Mr Singh.

Prayers will be said at the Sri Guru Singh Sabha temple in Derby over several days.

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