Jaipur: Two weeks ahead of a Hindu woman’s arranged marriage, her family members on Tuesday night allegedly assaulted her Muslim friend, who had come to meet her at her relative’s place in Rampura Basti in Rajasthan’s Bikaner. The police took 22-year-old Saif Ali Khan to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries a few hours later, early on Wednesday morning.
According to locals, the woman’s male cousin began hitting Khan when he saw him entering their locality. “She was staying with her relatives in Rampura Basti where her friend came to meet her. The family objected to Ali’s presence in their locality and her cousin Bunty started beating him in front of everyone in the basti. As the crowd gathered, they put him in a car and took him to a deserted area,” said Mohammad Yunus, a resident of Rampura Basti.
Khan, who worked as a fruit vendor near Bhutto ka Bass, is said to have known the woman from before, and the woman’s family, after getting her marriage fixed within their own community, sent her off to their relative’s place to stop her from meeting Khan.
“She lives in Ranisar Bagh, about two km away from Rampura Basti. Ahead of her wedding this month, she was sent to stay with her uncle so that the boy couldn’t meet her, but when he reached there, her relatives thrashed him badly because of which he died,” Hanuman Ram, another resident of the Rampura Basti, told The Wire.
The police was informed about the incident by the local people immediately, but when they found Khan, he was in a critical condition.
“On Tuesday evening, about six family members of a woman from Rampura Basti took a man called Saif Ali to Karni Industrial Area (on the outskirts of the city) over his relationship with their daughter. They broke his legs and dumped him in the waste water accumulated there,” Rajendra Singh Rathore, circle officer, Sadar, who is investigating the case, told The Wire.
“When the police was informed by some unknown local person, Ali was brought to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries few hours later. There were multiple injuries on his body and that’s the reason behind his death, although the post-mortem report is yet to come out,” he added.
Speaking to The Wire, Sawai Singh Godara, the superintendent of police, Bikaner confirmed the involvement of the woman’s family members including her father in the attack on Khan.
“The family had fixed the woman’s marriage in their community and she was supposed to get married on May 18, but when they saw Saif Ali in their locality, they took him to Karni Industrial Area in a car and broke his legs before dumping him in a waste water pond there.”
An FIR was lodged in the Naya Sahar police station in Bikaner against the woman’s family members – Shiv Mali, Bunty and Raja Sonar – and four others under Sections 302 (murder), 364 (abduction for murder), 341 (wrongful restraint), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 201 (eliminating evidence) and 148 (rioting).
“An FIR has been lodged against the family members and three men, including the father of the woman, have been arrested,” Godara said.
However, the victim’s uncle said that no arrest has been made so far.
“No arrest has been made so far. We live two km away from the Rampura Basti and we had no idea why Saif went there that day,” Amar Deen, Khan’s uncle, told The Wire.
In a similar incident three months ago, Ankit Saxena, a 23-year-old man, was stabbed to death on a busy street in west Delhi, allegedly by the family members of Shehzadi, the woman he was in a relationship with. The family was opposed to the relationship.
Last year, in Rajsamand, Mohammad Afrazul, a labourer from Bengal was allegedly hacked to death by a man named Shambulal Regar, who claimed to rescue his ‘Hindu sister’ from ‘love jihad.’
Shruti Jain is a freelance journalist.