The family of a 31-year-old tribal man has claimed that he was allegedly kidnapped over his relationship with a 19-year-old Muslim woman from the same village. Four members of the woman’s family have been arrested in connection with the case.
Police said Deepak Barde, a member of the Bhil tribe and resident of Bhokar village in Shrirampur taluka of Ahmednagar district, has been missing since August 31. His father Raosaheb Barde (55), lodged the first information report (FIR) in this case at the Shrirampur taluka police station in Ahmednagar on Thursday. Deepak’s family suspects that he may have been killed by members of the woman’s family.
Police have booked five persons in this case, including the woman’s uncle Imran Shaikh from Pune, her father Majnu Shaikh and family members Samir Shaikh, Ajij Shaikh and Raju Shaikh, all from Bhokar village, under sections 342, 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 34 of the Indian Penal Code and sections of the SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Except Raju Shaikh, the other four have been arrested, said police.
According to the FIR, Deepak was “kidnapped for the purpose of murder” from Pune by the accused because of his relationship with Saniya Shaikh, who is from the same village. Deepak and Saniya had allegedly escaped together about a month ago, following which her uncle Imran Shaikh had lodged a missing report.
Deepak’s father Raosaheb, in the FIR filed by him this week, said that on August 30, his son had gone to Pune for some work. He said the same day, Deepak spoke to him on the phone around 8.30 pm. The next day, two residents of his village told Raosaheb that his son was being ‘held’ by the woman’s father Majnu Shaikh and her uncle Imran.
“I thought they nabbed my son because he had fled with their daughter…I went to the Shrirampur taluka police station but did not share the entire thing, as I felt the complaint in this case would be lodged in Pune…,” he said in the FIR. He claimed that Deepak was forcibly brought to Majnu Shaikh’s house in Bhokar village, where he was thrashed badly. Deepak has been untraceable since then, said Raosaheb.
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Speaking to The Indian Express over the phone, Raosaheb said, “Deepak had fled with the woman. But he later returned to the village as her family was against their relationship and they took her away from him… On August 30, Deepak left home saying he was going to Pune for work. The accused must have been keeping a watch on him. So, they kidnapped him from Wagholi the next day… Police have not told us what has happened to him… we are worried”.
Ahmednagar SP Manoj Patil, said, “Four persons have been arrested so far in this case. We have not found Deepak yet. Investigation is on.”
Asked whether Deepak and Saniya Shaikh had got married, the investigation officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police Sandip Mitke said, “Evidence of their marriage is not with us till now. The statement of the woman has not been recorded yet. But they had a relationship and had escaped together earlier.”