Exported Caste kills family: Castevirus 001USA2008

03Jan08

― Prosecutors say a 57-year-old man set a fire that killed his daughter, her husband and their 3-year-old son because the son-in-law came from a “lower caste system” and had not asked him for the daughter’s hand in marriage.

Subhash Chander was ordered held without bond Tuesday in a hearing before Judge Martin McDonough at the Markham Courthouse. He is accused of burning his pregnant daughter Monika Rani, 22; her husband Rajesh Kumar, 30; their son Vansh, and their unborn child.

Chander was charged Monday night with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of intentional homicide of an unborn child in the Oak Forest blaze. The fire that gutted a 36-unit building was set Saturday night at the Le Claire Station Apartments in Oak Forest.

Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Milan said considering how many people the fire put in danger, it could have been one of the largest homicides in American history.

But Chander’s sister, Kamla Devi, told WBBM-AM that her brother is innocent. She said 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.

“There was no family problem. There was nothing going on. Absolutely nothing,” Devi said.

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

Milan said Chander intentionally set the Saturday night fire. The fire also put the lives of dozens of others in harm’s way and destroyed 36 units in one building.

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Pic01 Caste killer Subhash Chandra, killed daughter,son-in-law and their kid

Chander confessed to setting the fire, Milan said. The defendant told authorities he purchased some gasoline for his daughter but got into a shoving match with his son-in-law, during which the gasoline spilled and he set a lighter to it, Milan said.

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