A 19-year-old girl was burnt alive by her lovers father when her mother sought help of the panchayat to get her daughter married with the boy in Ikauna police station area of Deoria district on Thursday.
The girls mother,Gyanwati,of Karahkol village,was allegedly beaten up by the village pradhan,members of the panchayat and the boys father when she objected to the panchayats decision turning down her request for the marriage.
The girl,Anju,who suffered over 85 per cent burns,died on way to Gorakhpur medical college on Thursday evening where she was referred for treatment. Anjus father is employed in Rajasthan.
Deoria Superintendent of Police Umesh Kumar Srivastava said a case of murder has been registered against the boys father and others who burnt the girl alive. One of the named accused,Kapil,has been arrested,he added.
Gyanwati told The Indian Express that her daughter was in a relationship with Ranjit of the same village for about two years. Ranjit got a job in Hyderabad a few months ago,where he was staying at present. Gyanwati said that she went to Ranjits father Jai Hind Patel yesterday evening,requesting him to get his son married with her daughter,but Patel turned down her request as Ranjit and Anju belong to the same caste.
Gyanwati later contacted village pradhan Akhand Pratap Singh,seeking his help. The pradhan reportedly asked both sides to place the matter before the panchayat,which he called in the village on Thursday morning.
She said that the panchayat was held at 9.30 am where she again placed her request for her daughters marriage with Ranjit,while Patel,who was accompanied by his family members and associates,refused.
Gyanwati alleged that the pradhan and the panchayat members,too,gave their decision that the couple could not marry as it would send a wrong message among other girls and boys in the area.
Gyanwati said as she objected to the panchayats decision,the pradhan,panchayat members,Patel and his associate Ram Hausla assaulted her. When she threatened to go to the police and the administration for help,an angry Patel left the place. About 10 minutes later,he,along with Kapil,were seen running towards Gyanwatis house carrying a container. Before Gyanwati and others could react,Patel and Kapil entered her house,poured kerosene on Anju and set her ablaze.
Anju,who was enveloped in flames,ran to the terrace of her house and jumped down. She suffered fractures in her arms and legs, too. The villagers poured water on her,but by then she had already suffered over 85 per cent burns.