Neha Rathi (21) never imagined that the morning after her wedding would be spent in a room all by herself with a foul smell emanating from inside. It was a most unusual start for the bride. It was only after she had spent 12 hours in the room that she found out that her husband, Naveen Khatri, has been charged with the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Aarzoo Singh, whose body was found in a ventilation shaft of the house on February 7.
A police team arrived at the house and pulled out a decomposed body from the shaft. Till then, Neha had no clue that she had shared the room with a corpse.
Neha, who married Naveen on February 5, said, “It was strange that the morning I stepped into the house, no rituals meant for a new bride were performed. Moreover, the family made me sit in a lone room on the first floor while none of the relatives came to meet me.”
A commerce graduate from Delhi University’s Deshbandhu College, Neha is pursuing MCom through correspondence from Delhi University. On December 20, their alliance was arranged by their families. “It was weird as the house did not appear to be one where a marriage has taken place. Family members spoke in hushed voices. I complained about the foul smell to them and my husband’s grandmother, Rajrani, said it may be because of a dead rat,” she said.
However, when she could not bear the smell, she told Naveen to do something about it after which he sprayed perfume several times to cover it.
“He was not talking to me and avoided coming inside the room. I felt something amiss, but being a new bride, I kept quiet and observed everything. Once Naveen was arrested, I called my father to take me back home,” she said.
The wedding had taken place in a banquet hall in Dwarka on February 5. Her father, Kaptain Singh Rathi, who works with the BSES, said his daughter and the family have been cheated by the Khatris. “They did not tell us anything about the boy’s relationship with the deceased. Also, they lied to us about Naveen’s father being in jail on charges of murder. They told us he was in jail for a minor feud,” he said
He claimed Naveen’s family members has been pressuring him to arrange the wedding at the earliest. “After their match was arranged on December 20, they forced us to perform the ceremony within 20 days but we refused. They later lied that their priest was pressuring them. So we fixed the wedding for February 5,” he added.
“Now they have destroyed my daughter’s life and god will not forgive them. My daughter is very brave but right now she is disturbed. We will place this matter before panchayat and ask them to take a decision,” he said.