February 16, 2021 11:42:14 pm
A 28-year-old woman from Gorakhpur district was allegedly murdered by her father, brother and three others in Sant Kabir Nagar district earlier this month as she was adamant about tying the knot with a married Muslim man, the police said on Tuesday. Four of the accused have been arrested while one is absconding, according to officials.
The police said the woman’s family members took her to Sant Kabir Nagar with the promise of getting her married to the 30-year-old man. But, on the night of February 3, they strangled her and burnt her body on a field in Jigna village in the Dhangatta police station area, officials claimed. The following day, residents found the body on the field.
Those arrested were identified as the woman’s father Kailash Yadav, brother Ajit Yadav, brother-in-law Satya Prakash Yadav and a middleman, Sitaram Yadav, who had helped the family find contract killer Varun Tewari. Tewari is now on the run.
The police said Kailash Yadav, a retired Army subedar, had paid the contract killer Rs 1.35 lakh for murdering his daughter, while another Rs 15,000 was to be paid later.
The woman was strangled, and after the father and others believed she was dead, they burnt the body using three litres of petrol, said Dhangatta Circle Officer Ambrish Bhadauria, adding, “It is not clear whether the woman was dead or alive when she was burnt. The accused said they thought she had died, and hence burnt her body. The post-mortem report says that death happened due to asphyxiation and shock.”
The police officer said, “They [the family] told her that they don’t have an issue with her getting married to the man. That is why she got into the four-wheeler and they drove around 20 km to reach Jigna village, where they killed her.”
Bhadauria said it took the police at least seven days to identify the body as it was charred beyond recognition. “We used CCTV footage, our sources and our surveillance teams to figure out who the woman was. It was a lengthy process in which we used our informers on the ground too,” the officer added.
Sant Kabir Nagar Superintendent of Police (SP) Kaustubh told The Indian Express that the woman was in a relationship with the Muslim man for the last two years. “The girl’s family did not approve of their relationship. The woman’s father had retired from the Army in August last year. He had come back to Gorakhpur and asked his daughter not to wait for the man. The man had got married in October last year to someone else but had promised to marry the woman. She was adamant that she will get married to him,” the SP said, adding, “On two prior occasions, the father had tried to kill the woman – on January 17 and January 26 – but could not do it.”
He said on the night of February 3, the contract killer and four others killed the woman. “On the afternoon of February 4, villagers found the half-burnt body and informed us,” Kaustubh added.
The police said a case had been lodged for murder and under other IPC sections at the Dhangatta station. “We have named all five people who were present during the alleged crime in the FIR. The mother of the woman and other relatives did not know about the plan to murder her and hence, no one else has been named,” said CO Bhadauria.
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