Tension ran high in two adjacent villages of Mathura district, in Uttar Pradesh, on Tuesday, hours after after the death of a 17-year-old boy, allegedly following assault by relatives of a girl and neighbours for entering her house around midnight.
The deceased was accompanied by a friend, also a minor. The other boy was also assaulted and is recuperating in hospital.
According to police, four people have been arrested so far and nearly two dozen Provincial Armed Constabulary personnel and policemen drawn from local stations have been deployed in both villages to stop any violence – the boy and girl’s families belong to neighbouring villages, and come from different locally dominant castes.
The boy and the girl studied in the same school and were friends, but her family did not approve of their friendship, according to police and neighbours.
The FIR, lodged on the complaint of the boy’s family, says he and a friend went to meet the girl sometime around 11 pm on Monday.
While the girl’s family alleges that he then entered her house without permission, apparently scaling the rear wall, the boy’s father told The Indian Express, “We don’t even know if he entered the house or was picked up from somewhere else.”
According to a relative of the girl, as the two teens entered the compound, the girl’s grandfather, who was sleeping on the verandah, woke up and raised alarm. Relatives and neighbours gathered and allegedly assaulted them. Both boys were taken to hospital; the victim was declared dead on arrival.
Mathura SSP Gaurav Grover said: “We received information that a man youth was attacked by a group of villagers when he went to meet a girl. Senior officers have reached the spot and are investigating. The family of the deceased has submitted a complaint against the girl’s relatives and local residents. Four people have been arrested and further action will be taken.”
Two relatives of the girl and two neighbours have been arrested.
According to the boy’s father, the girl contacted people in their village, seeking help for the boy. But, local residents said, by the time anyone could reach her village, the victim had sustained fatal injuries.
The father said the family had dinner together sometime after 9 pm on Monday, and then his son went out with his friend. “We got frantic calls later, telling us that my son was being beaten up…. They killed him mercilessly. I understand that they knew each other from school, and perhaps that did not go down well with them (girl’s family), but why did they kill him?”
According to a relative of the girl, who was present at the spot, the victim and his friend arrived on a motorcycle and tried to enter the house from a side that overlooks the farms.
“It happened within a span of 20-25 minutes,” the relative said. “Since the school is closed due to the pandemic he tried to meet her at her home, entering without permission. The girl’s mother was in hospital and her father was not home at the time. The neighbours got angry and the boy fought back…”
The victim had appeared for Class XII Board examinations and often worked on daily wage contract, his family members said.
The police said he sustained injuries on the head, as multiple people punched and kicked him.
The girl comes from a Thakur family, and the boy was a Gurjar. His village is the only Gurjar-dominated one in the area, flanked by four or five villages dominated by people from Thakur community. Even though residents of both villages said there is no antagonism between the communities, police believe the incident could have opened up the possibility of a backlash.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines