A group of 10-20 men went on a rampage at Harijan Basti in Southeast Delhi’s Sarai Kale Khan late Saturday after a man from the locality married a woman from the minority community, with police saying this angered the woman’s family and prompted them to attack the man’s relatives. The couple, along with the man’s family, were in Ghaziabad at the time. The mob also assaulted a few locals and three-four people sustained minor injuries, police said.
Police have arrested the woman’s brother Farman (20) and his neighbours and relatives Shahrukh (23), Hasan Ali (21) and Raja (19) and booked them under sections of rioting, violence and destruction of property. They also stepped up security in the area on Sunday.
The incident took place around 10.30-11 pm. CCTV footage shows the men entering the narrow lanes and breaking pots and coolers, pelting stones and banging on doors to threaten residents. Another video shows damaged bikes and cycles lying on the street. Locals alleged they hit vehicles with rods and other weapons.
DCP (Southeast) R P Meena said, “A PCR call regarding the incident was received at Sunlight Colony police station at 11 pm. Our team visited the spot and found that a couple — Sumit (22) and a 19-year-old woman — of the same locality got married against the wishes of their parents. A relative and known persons from the woman’s side came to the man’s residence and damaged vehicles. A case has been registered and four persons have been arrested.”
Sumit’s family alleged the woman’s family issued death threats earlier on Saturday.
His mother Rajni said, “We didn’t know about the wedding either. They got married on March 17 and told us later. We were attending a wedding in Ghaziabad at the time. I wasn’t happy but he is my son and if he wants to be with the woman, we won’t stop him. On Saturday, we were all called to the police station where the woman’s family threatened to kill us. We told the police, who helped us.”
The family said Sumit and the woman have known each other for three years. Last December, they told their families they were in a relationship. Sumit’s family alleged the woman’s family rejected the proposal and forced her to get engaged to someone else.
Saroj (45), a resident of the area, said she was standing outside her house when the group arrived. She said she was hit “with some object” and “almost fainted”. “My daughter then came to rescue me. We know most of these men. They hurled abuses, casteist slurs and threatened to kill us. Most of them live near our house,” she alleged.