Three days after a Muslim youth was found dead in Bikaner, allegedly killed by the kin of a young Hindu woman with whom he had an affair, the victim’s father on Friday claimed that he had advised him against furthering the relationship and had even informed the woman’s family. The woman’s family, meanwhile, claimed the youth used to harass her and the family.
Bikaner’s Superintendent of Police Sawai Singh Godara and Circle Officer of Sadar Rajendra Singh Rathore, investigating officer of the case, said that the woman’s family has alleged that the victim, Saif Ali, 21, had threatened her father on multiple occasions. Saif was found unconscious on the night of May 1 and died in a hospital soon after.
His father Aslam Khan said Saif and the woman had known each other for some time. “I had found her identity card with him and asked about it. I also found out he had photographs with her in his phone. I warned him not to pursue (the relationship) since she comes from a different community,” he said. This, Aslam said, took place a few months ago.
“I located the girl’s home and spoke to her parents. I asked her about the identity card; she claimed to have lost it. Then I told her parents about the photos. We agreed that we do not want this relationship to go ahead,” Aslam said at the family’s home in Bhutto ka Baas locality of Bikaner. “We restricted Saif’s movements but the girl kept calling him. We want call detail records to be investigated,” Aslam said.
Educated up to Class V, Saif worked as a loader at Bikaner’s vegetable market and earned about Rs 200-250 every day.
The woman’s father, Vijay Singh (surname withheld to protect her identity), her cousin Bunty (alias Poonamchand), and another relative Vijendra were arrested on Thursday on charges of murder, among others. A relative, Chiragdeen, 38, and a cousin named Sanjay Khan, were with Saif when he was allegedly “abducted” by the woman’s kin on May 1.
Saif’s uncle Malik said, “We informed the police. Saif was found by a waste-water pond in Karni Industrial Area between 9.30 pm and 10 pm. We thought he might recover but he died around 2.30 am on May 2.” They said Saif’s legs were “beaten to a pulp,” and there were injuries on head and torso. “We thought he might survive. But the pond has toxic effluents. That may also have led to his death,” Malik said. The postmortem report is awaited.
In the FIR, Aslam makes no mention of the woman or any affair. “We thought they may claim it was a case of love-jihad and further vitiate things. So we avoided it,” Aslam said.
Speaking to The Indian Express on Friday, Vijay said, “I am a school taxi driver. I got a call over a month ago, and was asked to meet the caller. I took him to be parent of one of the children. I went there and found Saif. He threatened me to ‘get out of the way’.”
About a week later Saif purportedly called again and asked to meet Vijay. “He showed me a gun this time and threatened me again; there were some youths with him this time,” Vijay said. “Later, I met his father, who said Saif doesn’t listen to him.” Vijay said he relocated his daughter to Bunty’s house in Rampura in mid-April.
Bunty said, “On May 1 when I visit the temple, I found them keeping an eye on our home. While I was leaving, Saif, along with five or six others, tried to barge in. A scuffle followed and we beat his legs with sticks… We didn’t know he would die.”
Bikar SP Godara said the woman’s mother also submitted a complaint at Naya Sahar police station stating Vijay had taken away their daughter and may try to “sell her off.” The complaint was later withdrawn.