Muzaffarnagar: Village debates a ‘love story’, two deaths

They were going around for five-six years. Everyone knew it. And so did their families, says one of the villager.

Written by Irena Akbar | Muzaffarnagar | Updated: May 7, 2015 6:35 am
Muzaffarnagar couple death, Muzaffarnagar couple suicide, Muzaffarnagar lovers suicide, Muzaffarnagar girl boy death, inter religion love marriage, Muzaffarnagar, uttar pradesh, india news, nation news Israna’s family in Bhaura Khurd village in Muzaffarnagar.

Mohammed Idrees’s small home in Bhaura Khurd village, Muzaffarnagar, was teeming with guests last Friday. His 17-year-old daughter Israna was getting engaged to a distant cousin, and the two were set to get married after Eid. Relatives from nearby villages had stayed over for the ceremony.

Also Read: Hindu man, Muslim girl commit suicide in Muzaffarnagar

Idrees, and his family of six, including Israna, too had come to their Bhaura Khurd home a week earlier from Pundri town in Kaithal district, Haryana. Idrees and his family had left their Muzaffarnagar village in the wake of the 2013 communal riots “out of fear” and shifted to Pundri, where he pulls a vegetable cart for a living. Bhaura Khurd, where Muslims form 5 per cent of the 3,500 resident families, was not hit by riots, though it’s on the fringes of the worst-affected village, Fugana.

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“Israna looked quite happy that day,” says Idrees, who spent about Rs 22,000 on her engagement and Rs 25,000 earlier to remove a tuberculosis-induced boil below her collar bone. Barely three days after her engagement, though, Israna, along with one Rajneesh Kumar, was found hanging from the branch of a leafless neem tree in the village. The two were hanging by the opposite ends of Israna’s dupatta and their bodies were facing each other. Israna was wearing a mangalsutra and a dash of sindoor on her hair parting.

A tube of sindoor paste, a pack of bindis, an empty wrapper of imitation jewellery and a lipstick lay atop a pile of dried dung cakes in a room right next to the neem tree. Were Israna and Rajneesh in love, and had they eloped to get married? “The families deny any knowledge of love between the two, but villagers say they were in a relationship for the last five years,” says Rajeev Gupta, SHO of Bhauri Kala police station.

The post-mortem report of the two concluded that the deaths occurred due to hanging “but we will trace call records of the three mobile phones recovered from the pocket of Rajneesh’s trousers in order to probe other angles,” says Gupta. No police has been deployed in the village as “there is no communal tension because of the deaths”, he adds.

At Israna’s home, several men sit on a charpoy with Idrees, who says he “had no idea about Israna’s relationship with Rajneesh”. A quiet, reserved girl, Israna had studied till Class V, and would cook and clean at home. Her mother feeds buffaloes and dries dung cakes outside, while a younger brother goes to school. Another brother works in Ludhiana as a tailor, and a sister is married and lives in Dadri. “She had not shared with anyone in the family what was in her heart,” says Jaibun, her mother. Once though, long back, Idrees was “informed about a rumour about her affair with a village boy”.

“I immediately scolded and beat her then,” he says. His daughter, he adds, “was at fault”. “A boy cannot fall for a girl unless she lets him. I have no one else to blame,” he says, adding he would have “never allowed Israna to marry outside the community”.

Rajneesh’s father Ram Kumar, too, is adamant he “would have never let him marry a Muslim”. “But now that he is dead, I cannot even get angry at him. What can you do when your own son has done wrong,” he says. Like Idrees, Kumar claims he “had no idea about Rajneesh’s relationship with Israna”.

Rajneesh, 21, was the “pride” of his Dalit family. Kumar, an illiterate farmer who owns five-seven bighas of land and a much larger house than Idrees, had ensured that all his four children study at least up to graduation. Rajneesh, the eldest, had trained in ITI after his Intermediate, and was doing BA. Six months ago, he had moved to Rohtak, Haryana, to work as a salesman in an LG showroom for a salary of Rs 9,000 a month. He had arrived in his village on Sunday to sit for an exam on Tuesday. “But Monday 5.30 am, as I was cutting wheat in the fields, my nephew came running to inform me of Rajneesh’s death. I, along with the girl’s father — whom I barely know — immediately informed the police,” says Kumar. Like Israna, Rajneesh had “not shared his love story” with his siblings — a brother who is doing BCA, and two sisters who are doing BA.

His cousin Sudhir Kumar, though, says he had “seen Israna smiling coyly whenever Rajneesh would pass by her on his cycle”. “But the glances were always from her side, not his,” Sudhir quickly adds.

Villagers say the families are “lying”. “Of course, they were going around for five-six years. Everyone knew it. And so did their families,” says one youth who didn’t give his name. Others agree, but none gives details of the “love story”. Charan Singh, a village elder, thinks it’s “a case of honour killing”. “I saw them hanging. The dupatta held them by their chins, not their necks, which suggests that someone hung them. It suits the families and the police to treat this as suicide and close the case,” he says.

SHO Gupta says “the families are not interested in pursuing the case”. “Both have readily accepted it as a case of suicide. They have not bothered to ask us to investigate. But once we get Rajneesh’s call records, we may call them for questioning,” he says.

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  1. A
    Amit
    May 9, 2015 at 7:09 am
    Muslims usually kill their girls who want to marry a Hindu boy and then even do not leave the Hindu lover alive. This again proves how pathetic the community is.
    Reply
    1. A
      Amit
      May 9, 2015 at 7:11 am
      You joker. How many Muslims did they kill or how how many muslim girls did they abduct. This Abhinav Bharat story was invented by UPA govt. for the benefit of you people only.
      Reply
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        Agnivesh Mishra
        May 7, 2015 at 10:34 am
        Read once in a Paulo Coelho book where a perby sees a newly wed couple coming out of church and comments to a fellow bystander, "they look happy, they must be in love". The bystander replies "of course they are in love, why else do people marry?" It turns out that in India people marry for all sorts of reasons except love. Love os prohibited in marriages in India. People marry for getting rid of social responsibility, dowry, because parents want a dutiful bahu, so on and so forth. shaadi koi karta hai, naak ka sawaal duniya bhar ka hota hai. when will the thinking of the society change? in this case both parents are saying that their kid was wrong?
        Reply
        1. A
          asif ahmad
          May 27, 2015 at 1:30 am
          When one cannot give life how can one take. May God save all from such mentality and incidents.
          Reply
          1. J
            jantaVijay
            May 7, 2015 at 8:17 pm
            Beautifully put. Perhaps nothing else points to how backward a civilization we continue to be than this abysmal urge to control our sons and daughters and their loves. The parochial mentality of "us versus them" permeates our society. We will be a more moral and just society when we are finally rid of this millstone around our collective necks.
            Reply
            1. M
              Mohan
              May 7, 2015 at 2:23 pm
              Well said !
              Reply
              1. S
                shahnaz
                May 7, 2015 at 9:21 am
                love is religion in its own,cruelty of relatives that have not interest in persu
                Reply
                1. Z
                  Zakhir Naik
                  May 7, 2015 at 12:06 pm
                  1. 99% Muslims become terrorist regularly visiting Masjid... What kind of knowledge they give... 2. Demand for reservation... Why? Coz don't have money to educate their cricket team 10-15 Children... 3. Respect women by marriage one... Give divorce and marry to second... Not marry to 4-5 and produce 20-30 and then start crying government is not doing anything for us??? 4. Burkha? Wht is this? Dont have freedom 5. Stop Killing Animals 6. Give Chadar/Sal to poor insted of old kabar... We are not worshiping idols but ideals behind them. Just as we salute the flag, we are not really worshing a piece of cloth, in stead we are showing our reverence towards our country in a very symbolic way. so you want all become Muslims then become terrorist ..killing each other and mankind is wiped out from the world... if kuran and Islam make you guys terrorist then leave Islam and join Hinduism which will make you all human and make you all love each other.... I ruled Spain for 800 years I ruled India for 1000 years But Currently I need minority quota for maH 1000 childraans.
                  Reply
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