On November 20, a 26-year-old IIM-Bangalore fellow working in Dholpur, Rajasthan, left for Delhi, alleging her family was planning to forcibly take her away and get her married without her consent. On Tuesday, Rajasthan Police took the woman back to Dholpur based on a complaint by the family that she had been kidnapped.
“Local police will be producing her in court , her statement under CrPC 164 will be conducted Wednesday. She is independent to give whatever statement she wants. Probe will be carried out accordingly. Nothing illegal will be done… after the statement I think she will be free,” said Inspector General (Bharatpur Range) Sanjib Kumar Narzary, under whose jurisdiction Dholpur falls.
On the evening of November 20, Sheena Choudhary, left Dholpur for Delhi. While she lived and worked in Dholpur, her parents live in Wazirabad in Delhi. On November 21, she met DCP (New Delhi) Dr Eish Singhal, and submitted a letter saying, “My family is forcing me to get married. When I refused, they threatened they would take me away forcefully and stop my job and further studies. Due to the perceived threat, I left Dholpur of my own free will and contacted NFIW (National Federation of Indian Women) for protection. I would like to stress I am safe and do not wish to be sought after or traced by my family.” The DCP confirmed Choudhary had met him.
On November 23, Choudhary met DCW chief Swati Maliwal, and reiterated the threat from her family. Later, in an email to Maliwal, Choudhary sought a restraining order “to prevent my immediate or extended family from forcibly accosting me or contacting me against my wishes”.
The same day, an FIR was lodged at Dholpur’s Nihal Ganj police station based on a complaint by Choudhary’s uncle Praveen Kumar. In the FIR, he said, “My niece Sheena… has been missing since 10.40 am on November 20. We lodged a missing person’s complaint with Nihal Ganj police station on November 21… We suspect an unknown person is keeping her hostage near New Friends Colony (in Delhi).”
The FIR was lodged under IPC sections 363 (kidnapping), 366 (abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage) and 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement). “Following the registration of a criminal case, a police team went to Delhi to search for her. She was recovered with the help of local police and through call tracing. She is being brought to Dholpur where her statement will be recorded before a magistrate. How the case will be disposed depends on what she says,” said Dholpur SP Keshar Singh Shekhawat.
Social activist Shabnam Hashmi, who runs NGO ANHAD and who was with Choudhary Tuesday afternoon, minutes before she was taken away by the Rajasthan Police, said, “A few of us were near the ANHAD office and I went to meet someone when I got a call that she had been forcibly picked up by police… She clearly stated that she fears for her life, fears her family will harm her, yet police picked her up… She is an adult. How can they do this to her without her consent?”
Choudhary’s uncle Kumar, on whose complaint Dholpur police filed a kidnapping FIR, told The Indian Express, “Now everything is fine. There was a communication gap between the family and her… We spoke to her today.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines