Panchayat rejected same-gotra marriage of Basant with Sarita

Haryana panchayat move to nullify his marriage with Sarita and her second wedding infuriated the dismissed constable

Written by Varinder Bhatia | Chandigarh | Published: June 11, 2013 3:41 am

Rigid social dogmas like the one which says a man and woman of the same clan (gotra) should not marry each other seems to have pushed dismissed Chandigarh police constable Basant Kumar on a killing spree and his girlfriend Sarita Rani to be part of the conspiracy.

In fact,Sarita,prior to being Basant’s girlfriend,was his wife. Both of them are from the same clan in the Jat community from Garor village in Sonepat. They had eloped and got married on February 3 at an Arya Samaj temple in Ambala.

But soon the couple’s families found them and brought them back to village. The panchayat reprimanded them for marrying from the same clan. They nullified the marriage,called for the couple’s separation and formalised it through a divorce in a Sonepat court.

In the time between their marriage and divorce,the couple had sought police protection fearing threat to their lives from their families. Sarita had even sent a letter to Kharkhoda police station stating that they married each other of their own volition and need police protection. But the police never acted on it.

After the divorce,Sarita’s maternal uncle fixed her marriage with Sandeep of Deepalpur village,Sonepat. Her second marriage infuriated Basant. Sarita’s phone records reveal that she made a last call to Basant three days before her marriage on April 15. She told him her uncle was forcibly getting her married.

SHO Sonepat Sultan Singh said Sarita could not contact Basant after marriage as she did not have a phone. “She became the conspirator in the murder of Sandeep and his mother Roshni Devi as she had already informed Basant about her marriage,” he said.

Singh said Sarita’s father,Rohtash,did not attend the wedding. “Her uncle allegedly deceived Sandeep’s family claiming he had raised Sarita since she was two,” he said.

Basant’s father,Rajbir,confirmed that the panchayat had ordered their separation. “They committed a mistake of getting married violating clan norms. Both should have behaved like a brother and sister. The crimes they committed were their own act,” he said.

Rohtash said he never acknowledged both her marriages. “For me she died the day she eloped with Basant. The panchayat and our community had already ordered our social boycott,” he said.

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