Updated: March 3, 2021 11:09:37 pm
After the Gujarat Police arrested Aarif Khan, husband of 23-year-old Ayesha Banu, who allegedly ended her life by jumping into the Sabarmati river allegedly over dowry harassment, a court Wednesday sent the accused to police remand till March 6 afternoon.
According to police, Aarif Khan, a resident of Jalore in Rajasthan, was nabbed from Pali district on March 1 night, after a case of abetment to suicide was lodged against him, in the wake of his wife Ayesha Banu taking the extreme step.
“The accused was presented at court number 10 of additional chief magistrate in Ghee Kanta metropolitan court and we have received his custody till 3:30 pm on March 6,” informed a police official of Sabarmati Riverfront West Police Station.
As per the remand custody application documents accessed by The Indian Express, the assistant public prosecutor representing the police had listed five reasons for the police to seek remand which included that police have not been able to trace the cell phone of accused Aarif and that he had with mal-intention told the victim on phone call that “if you want to die then die but send me a video first.”
The police have also mentioned that they are yet to investigate whether the accused had maintained contact with his wife through any other social site and had given her mental harassment. The police have also mentioned that they are yet to confirm if the accused had made the video of Ayesha viral and whether he had edited parts of the video.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Jafar Khan, advocate for the parents of Ayesha said, “The police have claimed in their remand application that the accused is not cooperating with them in the investigation.”
Ayesha Banu, a resident of Almina Park in Vatva of Ahmedabad, married Aarif, a mining supervisor, in 2018. She 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. Due to alleged physical and mental harassment inflicted by Aarif, Ayesha was living with her parents in Vatva since March 10, 2020.
In the afternoon on February 25, Ayesha 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 in the evening, police initially lodged an accidental death report. However, after the video message surfaced, Khan was booked under Indian Penal Code sections 306 for abetment to suicide at Sabarmati Riverfront West police station.
Ayesha’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 and sisters at Vatva police station for domestic violence and dowry harassment after Ayesha had alleged that she was beaten up at her in-laws’ residence in Jalore.
Police also obtained Ayesha’s call detail records (CDR), which showed that on February 25, she had a 72-minute conversation with Aarif before taking 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.
According to police sources, in the 72-minute conversation, Aarif allegedly asked Ayesha to tell her father to withdraw the case of domestic violence and later told her to “shoot a video message for him and then kill herself”.
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