Man shot dead on son's first birthday in India 'over inter-faith marriage'

ReutersPeople take part in a religion conversion ceremony from Christianity to Hinduism at Hasayan town in the tense northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh August 29, 2014

A man in India was shot dead on his way home with a cake for his son's first birthday yesterday, allegedly targeted over his inter-faith marriage.

The 32-year-old was killed in the tense Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh.

According to The Times of India, Naseem Ahmad had married Pinky Kumari in 2015, after threats over their relationship forced the pair to elope from their village. They moved to Andhra Pradesh, where the couple had a child, but they arrived in Muzaffarnagar because Naseem reportedly wanted to celebrate their son's first birthday at home.

An eyewitness, Mohammad Qadir, described the murder. 'Three men on a bike suddenly blocked the path of Naseem, who was himself riding a motorcycle,' he said. 'They shot him in the chest from close range and escaped as quickly as they had come.'

Based on a complaint filed by Naseem's family, police have lodged a First Information Report, a written document setting criminal inquiries in process, against Pinky's father Rajesh Kumar, her brother Pradeep, and two other unidentified individuals.

However, no arrests had been made last night.

Police sources told The Times of India that the murder had triggered community tensions in the tense region.

Angry villagers blocked traffic and demanded the immediate arrest of the culprits, with senior police officers deployed to the scene.

Muzaffarnagar has seen tensions between Hindus and Muslims and has been unstable since riots in the district in 2013.