When Asha Shinde left Aundh in Maharashtras dusty Satara district to pursue the dream of a career in Pune a couple of years ago,she demonstrated to her sleepy hometown a quiet defiance that it was unfamiliar with. On Tuesday,the shocked town was saying it is even less familiar with what happened two days ago.
On Sunday morning,25-year-old Asha was bludgeoned to death by her father in their home after she refused to marry a man he had chosen for her. Asha,a medical social worker with KEM Hospital in Pune,was in love with a man from a different caste.
Shankar Shinde,65,hammered his daughter with a wooden staff and bent iron rod as she slept. He then went to the police station and turned himself in.
Shinde has been arrested for murder and remanded in police custody until tomorrow. Satara police said he has shown no signs of remorse or repentance.
Asha had been at home in Aundh for about 10 days before the murder. One of the people outside her family who spoke to her last was Perveen Bharucha,head of KEMs medical social work department,who asked her over the phone on Saturday when she would return to work.
All that Asha could say was please talk to my mother, Bharucha said,adding Asha had left for Satara on February 7,saying she would be back in a week.
…we were surprised when she failed to contact us. We started calling her mobile which she did not answer. It was only a day before she was killed that I could contact her mother. She told me categorically that she would come to Pune with her husband and submit Ashas resignation, Bharucha said.
In Satara,Bhai Mane,Ashas social work professor at Yashwantrao Chavan College of Social Work,led a protest march against the killing. Ashas friends have told us that they had warned her that her family would oppose her relationship. But she was sure she would be able to win them over, Mane said.
Investigation officer Chandrakant Shirke said: He (Shinde) was not looking sad. He did not cry. During interrogation he said what he did to his daughter was the right thing to do.