The mother of a 20-year-old woman, who along with her male friend, were killed allegedly by her relatives last week in Jalgaon for being in a relationship, was arrested on Monday for reportedly being the main conspirator behind the crime.
Earlier, the police had taken into custody five persons, including the deceased woman’s 17-year-old brother, who allegedly shot dead the 22-year-old man from a different caste last Friday. The woman was strangled to death later.
“It was on the mother’s directions that the five persons took the couple to an isolated location at Varad road and shot dead Rakesh Sanjay Rajput and subsequently, strangled the woman,” said a police officer.
The officer added that four others – including three family members and a friend – have also been arrested for their alleged involvement in the crime. The police said that the four were involved in destroying evidence.
With this, while eight people have been arrested, two minors have been detained for the crime.
The incident took place around 8 pm last Friday, when a relative, one of the arrested accused, spotted the couple together and took them home. The mother and three relatives, who have been arrested, as well as two minors, including the deceased’s brother, were already present at the house.
The police said while the family was opposed to the relationship, the man and the woman were adamant to be with each other.
“The two were initially brutally beaten at the house. Later, on the mother’s instructions, the five took them to an isolated area on the border of Jalgaon at Varad road. Following this, the 17-year-old took out a pistol and shot Rajput dead,” the officer said.
“Throughout, the mother was in contact with the five accused over the phone. As per her directions, Rajput was shot on the head. The five were asked to ensure that her daughter saw him die and then she was to be strangled with a cloth,” the officer added.
Soon after the incident, the 17-year-old brother went to the police station with the pistol and surrendered. The four others, including another minor, were apprehended on Saturday. During questioning, they confessed that the mother of the 20-year-old and four more persons were also involved in the crime.
“We have invoked Section 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy), along with the sections of murder and destruction of evidence under the IPC,” said a senior officer.
“The mother has claimed that Rajput had caused a lot of shame to her family, as he would often go to her house… talk to her daughter… pull her close to him… and also take her out,” said the officer.
“He did all this in front of the family members and neighbours, which allegedly cost their reputation and they decided to kill them.”
The police have learnt that the two deceased were taken on three bikes to isolated locations. “Two of the bikes have been recovered. We are looking for the third one,” said the officer.
The accused were presented before the magistrate and remanded in police custody.