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Woman found 16 yrs after ‘abduction’

Her disappearance 16 years ago led to the arrest of her husband and in-laws on charges of dowry demand and kidnapping.

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow |
August 7, 2010 3:39:43 am

Her disappearance 16 years ago led to the arrest of her husband and in-laws on charges of dowry demand and kidnapping. On Friday,she was arrested and brought to the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate,before whom she admitted that she had left the house on her will.

Vandana Chaturvedi (38) was held by the police near Chaubcha area under Kotwali police circle in Mathura while she was on her way to meet her grandmother Leelawati to borrow money. Her in-laws tipped off the police that she was in the area.

Married to Laxmi Kant,a school teacher in 1992,Vandana was last seen by two persons on April 15,1994,with her husband and in-laws. After she went missing,on the complaint of her father Bakundlal Chaturvedi,an FIR was lodged against Laxmi Kant,his brother Chandra Kant,father Ramesh Chand and mother Saraswati Devi,levelling charges of dowry and kidnapping.

In his complaint,he stated that the family was demanding Rs 5,000 from him,following which police arrested them. While Saraswati Devi was released on bail the same day,Ramesh Chand and Chandra Kant were lodged in jail for almost six months. Laxmi Kant was in jail for nearly two years.

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The police filed a chargesheet under Sections 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent,secretly and wrongfully to confine a person) and 498 (husband or relative of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) of the IPC. The statement of four witnesses was recorded and the case is pending in the court.

“According to the case diary,two locals — Anoop Chaturvedi and Santosh Chaturvedi — had seen Vandana going on a rickshaw with them on the evening of April 15,2004,after which she disappeared,” said Laxmi Kant’s lawyer Uma Kant Chaturvedi. “The other witnesses are three locals,who said they knew that Laxmi Kant and his family were demanding money from Vandana’s family.”

“In her statement recorded on Friday,Vandana told CJM Chandra Bhanu that her mother-in-law had demanded Rs 5,000,” said government counsel Arvind Bhati.

Distressed,she left home and went to New Delhi by bus. In the Capital,she found work as a domestic servant.

“Two years later,she developed relations with a man and gave birth to three children,Vandana told the court,” said Bhati.

“Vandana denied in court that she was kidnapped. After recording the statement,she was allowed to go,” said Sub-Inspector Anil Singh,who had taken her to the court.

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