In a suspected case of honour killing, a Malayalee engineer was shot dead by a gunman hired by his wife's relatives in Jaipur on Wednesday.

Amit Nair, 28, a civil engineer who hails from Pathanamthitta, was murdered at his residence in Karni Vihar, in front of his pregnant wife Mamta Chaudhary, by a hitman who accompanied his in-laws.

After gunning down Amit, the in-laws tried to forcibly take Mamta along with them, though some local residents - who rushed to the spot after hearing gunshots and Mamta's cries for help - foiled the attempt.

Amit sustained three bullet injuries and was declared brought dead at the hospital. All three accused are absconding. The police have began a search after Amit’s mother Rama Devi filed an FIR. Barricades and check posts have been put up at several locations in the city as well as on national highways.

Mamta's relatives have been trying to take her back home for some time now. Amit had married Mamta a few years ago, defying the objection raised by her family. He had received several death threats since then and was even assaulted a few times.

The couple thought that the in-laws buried the hatchet when Mamta got pregnant recently as her parents used to visit them often and talk to her for hours.

However, on Wednesday, the in-laws tried to take Mamta with them so that they could force her to get an abortion. Heated arguments followed and Mamta and Amit fought her parents vehemently. The parents then called in the man waiting outside, who entered the house, drew out a pistol and opened fire at Amit.