A couple belonging to the Dalit (untouchable) caste, Sandeep Rani, 24, and his wife Khushboo, 22, knew their lives were at risk after they married against her parent's wishes, so they asked for and eventually were given police protection through a court order. Despite the protection just three months after they were married they were hacked to death. The couple who returned to their village in Hoshiapur district kept receiving death threats, so they went to stay with friends. When they later briefly returned to their home in Mugowal near Chandigarh, they were attacked and killed by five masked men carrying swords and knives. When Mr Rani's father Parkash tried to protect him he too was stabbed and is currently in intensive care. After killing Mr Rani the attackers critically injured Kushboo who died a short time after the ambulance arrived to transport her. Mr Rani's mother told police that the mask of one attacker slipped off during the violent fracas, and she recognised him as being Khushboo's father, Sodhi Ram. Hoshiarpur district police say the matter is being investigated and informed them that even though the couple applied for a High Court order for police protection, they later decided they did not need it and traveled home without notifying officers. India's Dalits make up around 17 percent of Delhi's population.