A 25-year-old Dalit man was murdered allegedly by his upper-caste in-laws in Varmor village of Ahmedabad district Monday evening. Police said Haresh Kumar Solanki was hacked to death by eight men outside his wife Urmila’s house in the presence of a women’s helpline team attempting to negotiate with her. According to police, none of the eight have been arrested and Solanki’s wife Urmila’s father, Dashrathsinh Zala, has been named the prime accused.
Solanki, from Gandhidham in Kutch, married Urmila Zala almost six months ago but her parents had brought her back to Varmor on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in May. Urmila, who is two months pregnant, is missing, said police.
Solanki then sought help from the 181 Abhayam team to convince his father-in-law Dashrathsinh Zala to let Urmila return with him to Kutch since she was pregnant. The Abhayam 181 helpline is for women in distress. Usually, they are a team of counsellors that visit the caller and in this case, the team with Solanki had one woman constable as well, who was unarmed.
As the counsellor negotiated with Urmila’s parents, police said Solanki waited in a government car outside the house. According to Bhavika, the counsellor who travelled with Solanki, the counselling lasted for around 20 minutes.“Haresh was sitting in the front seat of the government vehicle along with the driver. After the round of counselling ended with Dashrathsinh and Urmila, around 7 pm, we got out of the house and approached the car. At that moment, eight people along with Dashrathsinh arrived at the spot, forced Haresh to step out of the car and attacked him with swords, knives, sticks and rods. The Abhayam team was also attacked. We immediately called police for help,” said Bhavika in her complaint to police.Police have named eight persons for murder in the FIR with Dashrathsinh Zala, father of Urmila, as prime accused. “We have formed multiple teams to nab the accused who remain on the run as of now. Accounts of eyewitnesses have also been taken into consideration so that the accused can be arrested at the earliest,” said P D Manvar, deputy SP, SC/ST Cell, Ahmedabad Rural.
According to eyewitnesses, Urmila’s family got angry after they got to know that Solanki was also present outside their house, in the 181 vehicle. Meanwhile, police sources said one person has been detained in the matter.
The eight accused are Dashrathsinh Zala, Hasmukhsinh, Jaideepsinh, Ajaysinh, Anoopsinh, Harish Chandrasinh, Pargatsinh and Indrajeetsinh — all booked under sections 302 (murder), 332 (causing hurt to public servant to deter them from duty), 353 (assault on public servant), 341(wrongful restraint), 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting) and 148 (rioting with deadly weapon) of the IPC and the Atrocities Act.
“After the murder, the entire family fled the village before a police team could arrive at the spot. We assume the victim’s wife has been taken forcefully by her parents and other relatives against her wishes and she was not aware of their plan to murder Solanki,” said Pravin Meena, ACP, Viramgam, Ahmedabad rural.
According to Solanki’s family, the couple had met in Kadi, a town in Mehsana district, where Urmila
“Solanki’s mother has informed us that he had studied until Class 10 and was employed in a private company in Kutch. A few years ago, he was staying in a boy’s hostel in Kadi where he supposedly met Urmila who was also enrolled in a college and used to stay in a girl’s hostel. It is there that they met and then decided to marry later,” said