Husband of mutilated Punjabi woman vows to catch her killer

London, Nov 20 ( The estranged husband of an Indian-origin woman who was murdered this week with her hand chopped off has vowed to catch her killer.

Geeta Aulakh, a 28-year-old mother of two, died Monday after she was found with severe head wounds and her right hand severed from her arm, lying on the pavement in the west London neighbourhood of Greenford.

Six men were arrested from a home Thursday in connection with the murder while six others, who were arrested earlier – including her estranged Indian-born husband Harpreet – were released on bail.

Harpreet Aulakh told The Mirror in comments published Thursday: “I love Geeta, I would never hurt her.”

“I’m disgusted. I had nothing to do with it. CCTV proves I was in a pub at the time. I was nowhere near the crime scene.

“The police arrested me because I helped them with a gang-related crime years ago, a shooting in Hounslow, and they had me on file that way. I’m going to find out who did this, and those people will pay.

“I will make sure they are sorry, even if it takes the rest of my life.”

The Mirror said police had rejected a theory that Geeta was the victim of honour killing.

Harpreet Aulakh revealed he and Geeta were threatened after he gave police evidence about a shooting in the northwest London suburb of Hunslow, home to a large population of Punjabis.

“There have been threats made against me and Geeta. We should have been in police protection but they did nothing. I have been attacked by a gang in Hounslow and have wounds on my head and arms.

“What happened has got to do with me, not with her,” he said.

Meanwhile, Detective Chief Inspector Howard Groves told the Daily Mail newspaper he believed Geeta’s hand was cut off as she desperately tried to protect herself.

“The severance of her right hand was part and parcel of the attack. It could be a defence wound if she put her hand up to protect herself,” he said.

“Whether there are other religious or cultural things, I doubt any significance can be put on that.”

“Mrs Aulakh received significant injuries to her head. I’m not prepared to go into details but they were substantial. We don’t have a motive yet – it’s still early days. It’s not something where there is an obvious motive like a robbery or a burglary,” Groves added,