In a suspected case of honour killing, a man in Rajasthan’s Dausa district allegedly abducted and murdered his 19-year-old married daughter on Thursday for eloping with her Dalit paramour. The woman, Pinki Saini, had fled with her lover, Roshan Mahawar, 23, five days after her wedding on February 16.
The accused father, Shankar Lal, a vegetable vendor, reached the Kotwali Police Station in Dausa after killing Pinki by strangulating her, and confessed to his crime. Pinki’s family had forcibly brought her back home from Roshan’s house, where they had arrived from Jaipur on March 1.
Pinki and Roshan had appeared as a live-in couple before the Jaipur Bench of Rajasthan High Court and sought protection against coercion by the woman’s family members before coming to Dausa. Pinki stated in the court that she was married against her will and she wanted to stay with her lover.
The High Court had on February 26 directed the police to give protection to the couple and take them to a safe place as per their wish. The court had also asked the counsel for Pinki’s family to advise his clients not to take law into their hands and not cause any harm to the petitioners.
On the complaint of Mr. Mahawar’s father after Pinki was forcibly taken away, an FIR was registered against 11 persons at women’s police station in Dausa with the charges of abduction, criminal intimidation and theft along with the sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Mr. Mahawar’s family members alleged that Shankar Lal and others had abused them with casteist slurs, damaged their house and stole ₹1.20 lakh while abducting Pinki.
Police suspect that Pinki’s family had tried to convince her to return to her husband, but when she refused to break off her relationship with her paramour, her “exasperated father lost his control and strangulated her”. Pinki’s in-laws had come to her house on February 21, but she refused to go with them and instead eloped with Mr. Mahawar.
The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has expressed shock over the alleged abduction and murder of Pinki despite the High Court’s order on police protection to the couple. PUCL State president Kavita Srivastava said the incident smacked of complicity of some police officials and demanded their immediate suspension, besides arrangements for security to Mr. Mahawar and his family members.
Ms. Srivastava said the Rajasthan Prohibition of Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliances in the Name of Honour and Tradition Bill, passed in the State Assembly on August 5, 2019, was yet to get the Presidential assent. “In the absence of a strict law, the consenting adults desirous of living together will continue to be hounded and killed in the name of vindicating the honour of family, caste or community,” she said.
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