“Nirupama Pathak knew that she was being tricked by her family into coming home on the pretext of her mother's illness, but she still chose to go ahead as a dutiful daughter,” says Priyabanshu Ranjan, the young journalist who was planning to get married to her.

Twenty-two-year-old Nirupama, a journalist with Business Standard here in the Capital, was in a relationship with her Indian Institute of Mass Communication batch-mate Priyabhanshu. The two were planning to get married but Nirupama's family, Brahmins, was opposed to it as the boy was a Kayastha.

“Nirupama's elder brother called her up on April 17 saying that their mother had fractured her backbone and asked her to rush home in Jharkhand. She left for home on April 19,” said Priyabhanshu on Monday.

“She suspected that all this talk of her mother having suffered a fracture was an excuse to call her home. She discussed the matter with me but decided to leave for home. Her family had made their opposition to the marriage clear ever since she told them about our relationship in February this year. They had even given veiled threats. But I never suspected that they could do this to her,” he said.

Nirupama, who did a one-year post-graduate diploma course in radio and TV journalism, met Priyabhanshu, who did his post-graduate diploma in Hindi journalism, on their first day at IIMC. “We met for the first time on June 29, 2008, and soon became friends.Last December we decided to get married. My family had no objection but Nirupama's family was strongly opposed to her getting married outside their caste,” said Priyabhanshu.

Recalling Nirupama as a fearless girl, Priyabhanshu said: “She wanted to switch over to a regular 9-to-5 job after marriage so that she could get enough time to spend with her family. She wanted to quit her job and prepare for Civil Services exam. But she sacrificed her dream to let me prepare for the Civil Services and lend me financial support.”

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