A heavily pregnant woman was shot three times while she slept in an attempted honour killing – but she managed to survive and delivered the baby with the bullets still inside her.
Susheela Kumar, 27, from Mahavir Colony in Haryana, India, and her husband Pradip were attacked by gunmen as they slept at their home.
Pradip and his parents died instantly in the attack on Friday night.
But Susheela, who was nine months pregnant survived despite being hit by three bullets which – one of which sliced her arm, the other passed through her mouth and the third bullet had pierced through her pancreas.
Susheela Kumar (right) was shot three times while she slept in an attempted honour killing – but she managed to survive and delivered the baby (left) with the bullets still inside her
Susheela Kumar, 27, from Mahavir Colony in Haryana, India, and her husband Pradip were attacked by gunmen as they slept at their home
When the attackers left, neighbours called for help and she was taken to a nearby hospital where doctors saved her and delivered the baby by C-section.
The yet-to-be named baby is fully grown and weighs 2.2kg. He has been kept in Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.
Susheela was an upper cast Jat and had married Pradip, also 27, four years ago against her family’s wishes.
The couple fled their village to start a new life, but returned to Pradip’s family home when she became pregnant.
Authorities are suspecting the incident was an attempted honour killing.
Police officer Karambir Singh said they were trying to ascertain if the assailants used a white SUV to reach the incident site.
Susheela was an upper cast Jat and had married Pradip (left), also 27, four years ago against her family’s wishes. Pictured (right) is their baby who has yet to be named
A relative of Susheela Kumar sits next to her hospital bed after the attack and birth of her son
The officer said: ‘Three people including Pradip and his parents Suresh Kumar, 47, Sunita 45 were killed in the incident. We have suspicion on Susheela’s brother Monu.
‘We have learnt that he has been using a stolen white Duster for a while now.
‘Though a murder case has been registered against unidentified people, we believe Susheela’s family members may be behind the crime.’
Honour killings, where families and relatives target couples for marrying against set social norms have been carried out for centuries in India.
They mainly take place in rural areas of states like Haryana and Uttar Pradesh which have a very conservative and deeply patriarchal society.
Relatives kill the couple to save their reputation and honour in the society and to set an example for other children to not dare go against the social norms.
India’s Supreme Court in 2011 ruled that those involved in honour killings should face death penalty but in many cases, the crime is not reported and killings are covered up.