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It seems life has come full circle for this couple in Punjab. Jasbir Singh, who is on death row, and his wife Sonia, who is serving life imprisonment, now want conjugal rights to bear a child.

However, the family of the teenaged boy they kidnapped and killed in Hoshiarpur town in 2005 is vehemently opposed to the move.

Jasbir Singh and Sonia were sentenced to death, along with their accomplice Vikram Walia, by the district and sessions court here in December 2006 for the cold-blooded murder of 16-year-old Abhi Verma.

Jasbir and Vikram are now facing the gallows as capital punishment against them was upheld by the high court and the Supreme Court. But the apex court reduced the sentence of Sonia, who had been the tutor of the victim, to life imprisonment.

Jasbir and Sonia had been married for eight months when they committed the crime. They have approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court to seek conjugal rights.

Abhi’s mother Anita said: “This is shameful and a rude shock for us. How can they think of bearing a child after snatching someone else’s son?”

“We have come to know that the culprits have filed a petition in the high court through their father, seeking conjugal rights to have a child. We will fight it tooth and nail,” Ravi Verma, Abhi’s father and a local businessman, told IANS.

Jasbir Singh’s father, Jarnail Singh, submitted a plea before the high court in Chandigarh in the first week of April, seeking conjugal rights for his son and daughter-in-law, lodged in the Patiala central prison.

The petition said giving conjugal rights to the convicted couple would give the family a heir since he (Jarnail Singh) did not have any other son except Jasbir.

But Abhi’s father said: “Abhi too was our only son. They killed the innocent boy. Now they want their family tree to continue. They deserve no mercy.”

The sensational kidnapping and subsequent murder of Abhi, nicknamed Harry, in February 2005 had shocked the town and resulted in violence.

Abhi’s kidnappers had demanded a ransom of Rs.5 million (50 lakh) from his family and even as negotiations were on, his naked body was dumped near Adampur town, 20 km from Hoshiarpur.

Vikram, who masterminded the kidnapping and knew Abhi’s family closely, even met his father after the kidnapping to know what was happening in the boy’s home.

Abhi was kidnapped in a car on Feb 14, 2005, when he was on his way to school.

Police, who tracked the boy’s kidnappers to an isolated house on the outskirts of the town, could only recover his body later from another spot. He had already died after his abductors injected an overdose of a tranquilliser into him.

They dumped his body but continued the ransom drama till police caught up with them.

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