A 22-year-old woman died on August 16 after she was set on fire allegedly by her husband and father-in-law over dowry in Gadra village under Bhinga police station area in Shravasti district. The family members of the woman, identified as Saeeda Begum, have alleged that the woman’s husband Nafees (25), had given her triple talaq last month and their complaint was not lodged at the police station.
The investigating officer (IO) of the case, Jang Bahadur Yadav, however, denied the allegation and claimed that the woman’s father did not mention triple talaq in his statement, recorded after her death. Also, the father never approached the police with any such complaint in the past, he added.
Yadav told The Indian Express that in the written complaint lodged by the father, triple talaq was not mentioned. “In the statement given by the father, of which we have a video recording, triple talaq was not mentioned. The matter is being probed by the Additional SP. We will wait for him to complete the probe before we comment further,” said Yadav.
Saeeda’s father, Ramzan Khan (55), claimed that that on May 6, they had gone to the police station to lodge a complaint regarding triple talaq give to her daughter over phone last month. “Nafees had given instant talaq to Saeeda through my phone. He had told me on the phone that he divorced my daughter. On August 6, we had gone to lodge a complaint and had given the application to a head constable at Bhinga police station. But, he sent us away,” alleged Khan.
He added that after his daughter was killed, he had told police that she had been given triple talaq over the phone, but they did not include it in the complaint, based on which an FIR was lodged on Saturday. Ramzan added that Nafees was employed in Mumbai and that he had returned to the village last week.
Asked about the allegation about police allegedly not incorporating sections for triple talaq, Superintendent of Police, Ashish Srivastava, said, “An inquiry has been initiated under Additional SP Balramachari Dubey into allegations that police did not lodge a complaint under sections for triple talaq.”
Additional SP Dubey said that the father has not yet provided a copy of the written complaint he is claiming to have submitted on August 6. “He is saying he will find a copy of the complaint by tomorrow morning. We will wait for a copy of the complaint and will proceed accordingly,” said Dubey.
“Ramzan has told us that a panchayat was held in the village on August 15. He has told us that Nafees had denied the allegation regarding triple talaq at the panchayat in front of villagers,” added Dubey.
The SP said that the postmortem report has stated the death of the woman happened due to burns. “We have collected evidence from the crime scene and are awaiting a report by forensics about it,” said the SP.
The complaint lodged by Ramzan on Saturday says, “Saeeda Begum got married to Nafees six years ago. Her husband used to beat her up over dowry. On August 16, around 3 pm, her in-laws beat her up after tying her up and then, set her on fire resulting in her death.” The FIR does not mention triple talaq allegation.
SP informed that a case has been lodged under IPC sections 304-B (dowry death), 498-A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and Section 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act. “We have booked eight persons, including the husband Nafees and father-in-law Azizullah and other in-laws of the woman. Nafees and Azeezullah have been arrested and were sent to jail after produced before a court on Monday,” said Srivastava.