Almost a week after a 25-year-old Dalit youth was hacked to death allegedly by his upper caste in-laws in a village near Ahmedabad, police traced the missing wife who is staying with her mother and recorded her statement on Saturday.
“After the prime accused, Dashrathsinh Zala, was arrested, we traced Urmila Zala, wife of deceased Haresh Solanki (25), to her relative’s place where she is staying with her mother. In the statement given to the police, she mentioned that she is not pregnant. Since she is not one of the accused in this case, we will conduct a medical test only when she agrees,” said P D Manvar, deputy superintendent of
police, SC/ST Cell, Ahmedabad rural.
On Monday (July 8), Haresh, a native of Gandhidham in Kutch, sought help from 181 Abhayam Helpline, stating that his wife was two months pregnant and was kept captive by her father, Dashrathsinh Zala, in Varmor village of Ahmedabad rural.
The 181 team comprising a state counsellor, a woman police constable and a driver accompanied Haresh to Urmila’s residence in Varmor around 6 pm on Monday.
As Haresh and the driver waited outside in the government vehicle, the constable and the counsellor tried to negotiate with Urmila’s father. However, 20 minutes later, when Dashrathsinh realised that Haresh was waiting outside, he and seven others dragged the youth out of the vehicle and stabbed him with knives, swords and iron rods, killing him on the spot.
The woman constable and the counsellor were also attacked by the accused and the state vehicle was vandalised during the assault.
The eight accused are related to each other and live in the same locality in Varmor village. The wife also went missing since the day of murder.
Haresh married Urmila six months ago. He had been employed as a driver with a private company and got in touch with Urmila in Kadi town of Mehsana when she was studying in a college.
Police arrested Dashrathsinh and six others in days following the murder. Officials have also refused to divulge the location of Urmila stating that the victim’s wife has requested for privacy.
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