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Couple killed over P10.54 debt

NEW DELHI (AFP) – An ax-wielding shopkeeper hacked a couple to death in northern India Thursday after they failed to pay a debt of 22 US cents, police said.

The middle-aged couple from the lowest Dalit caste in Uttar Pradesh state were on their way to work early Thursday when the grocery store owner asked them to pay their 15-rupee (22-cent or R10.54) debt. “The shopkeeper demanded money but they pleaded to be able to pay it later. He became enraged and attacked them with an axe,” Arun Kumar, the investigating officer in Mainpuri district, told AFP.

The officer said the couple had bought goods from the shop last week with a promise to pay the 60-year-old owner within a few days. “Their refusal to pay made him angry and he killed them,” Kumar said. The owner was arrested soon after the incident and the murder weapon recovered, the officer said.