Gujarat Police arrested absconding accused Aarif Khan, the husband of Ahmedabad-based Ayesha Banu Makrani (23) who had died by suicide on February 25, in Pali of Rajasthan on Monday night.
Ayesha Banu, a resident of Almina Park in Vatva of Ahmedabad, had recorded a video message and then jumped into the Sabarmati river on the afternoon of February 25, allegedly due to facing harassment by her husband whom she had married in 2018. A case of abetment to suicide has been lodged against Khan.
Speaking to The Indian Express, VM Desai, police inspector at Sabarmati Riverfront West police station, said, “Arif Khan has been arrested from Pali in Rajasthan. Earlier, a police team had reached Jalore at his residence where he was not found. Later through technical analysis, we held the accused from Pali. He will be brought to Ahmedabad on Tuesday on transit remand.”
Shyam Singh, superintendent of police, Jalore said, “The operation is that of Gujarat Police and the local police station in Jalore is extending its full cooperation in this case.”
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Ayesha was an employee of ICICI Bank mutual funds division and a final year student of MA in Economics in SV Commerce College at Relief Road in Ahmedabad. She had got married to Aarif, a private supervisor of mining, on July 6, 2018. However, due to alleged physical and mental harassment inflicted by Aarif, Ayesha was living at her residence in Vatva since March 10, 2020.
On the afternoon of February 25, Ayesha had recorded a two-minute video in which she made an emotional appeal to her father, Liyaqat Ali Makrani, requesting him to not pursue a case of domestic violence against her husband. She said she was “granting freedom to Aarif” before jumping into Sabarmati river.
After her body was recovered later that evening, police had initially lodged an accidental death report. However, after the video message had surfaced, Khan was booked under Indian Penal Code sections 306 for abetment to suicide at Sabarmati Riverfront West police station.
Ayeesha’s father said that he had paid Rs 1.5 lakh in dowry to Aarif on January 26, 2020. Even in 2019, an FIR was lodged against Aarif and his parents at Vatva police station for domestic violence after Ayesha had alleged that she was beaten up at her in-laws’ residence in Jalore over the issue.
Police also obtained Ayesha’s call detail records (CDR), which showed that on February 25, she had a 72-minute conversation with Aarif before she took the extreme step. Ayesha also had a five-minute conversation with her parents in which the latter are heard pleading to her to not take the extreme step, police said.
Her father Liyaqat Ali Makrani told The Indian Express that post his call with Ayesha on February 25, he had immediately dialed 100 and informed the police of the possibility of his daughter dying by suicide at the riverfront side. Ayesha’s body was recovered around 4:30 pm by fire safety officials on the same day.
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