The man she wanted to marry killed, her parents arrested for the crime and her house bolted shut. With nowhere to go after 23-year-old photographer Ankit Saxena was stabbed to death allegedly by her father in West Delhi’s Raghubir Nagar, this 18-year-old woman has stayed at the Khyala police station since the murder two days ago.
“We tried to convince the woman’s family members to take her back. But they were unwilling so we produced her before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC). There are cases when adults are produced before the CWC when they have nowhere to go or face threats. The woman has told the CWC she does not want to stay with her family,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Vijay Singh.
Her extended family — some living in the same colony and others in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur and Gorakhpur — told The Sunday Express they were “afraid” to take her in. On Saturday afternoon, her maternal aunt, cousins and 12-year-old sister visited her at the police station.
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The police requested them to take the woman home. “She kept crying, she was delirious…We told police we can’t take her home with us. She kept asking about Ankit, her parents and said it was all over for her,” said her aunt.
Saxena was stabbed to death near his house on Thursday night, after an altercation with four family members of the woman. Her parents, uncle and 16-year-old brother opposed her “relationship” with Saxena. While her parents and uncle are in judicial custody, her brother was sent to a juvenile home.
On Saturday morning, as armed paramilitary personnel and Delhi police commando units were stationed across five lanes surrounding the colony, the woman’s relatives sat inside their home glued to the television set. “We have not stepped outside since Friday, we haven’t opened our beauty parlour either. We fear we will be attacked… Obviously we can’t bring her here,” said the woman’s cousin, who runs the parlour.
On Friday, her cousin was asked to vacate the parlour. The woman’s maternal aunt said, “We have been living here for nine years now, but will probably sell the house and go to Gorakhpur… itni bandaami aur itne darr ke baad yahan kaise rahe (How can we stay here after this infamy and fear)?”
A few lanes away, shutters were pulled down on the parlour run by the woman’s mother — a desk with cans of wax lay outside. “On Friday, Bajrang Dal members threatened me, asked why I rented out my shop to someone from a minority community. They said if I don’t empty the shop, they would destroy it. I fear for my life and that of wife and children,” said Vinod Kumar, 38, the landlord. The West Delhi unit chief of the Bajrang Dal, Jagjit Singh Goldie said, “Humne parlour band kara diya hai… (We shut the beauty parlour down).”
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