If she is dead, give me the right to mourn her, says her husband
In hiding since September 26 this year, Arun says he has paid the ultimate price for belonging to the Scheduled Caste community.
“I dared to fall in love, elope and marry a girl from the Gujjar community. Our love story has gone horribly wrong with the Gurgaon police claiming that she was killed by her father and uncle on August 25. That can’t be true because Pooja was with me on September 26.”
“In fact, we were attacked by Pooja’s family on September 26 while we were on our way to the Supreme Court to file a petition seeking protection for my wife. Pooja was forcibly taken away while I was beaten and abandoned on the road near Pragati Maidan,” says Arun.
The case has now taken a curious turn with the Gurgaon police claiming in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court that Pooja was killed by her father and maternal on August 25.
Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Rahul Sharma said in his affidavit that Pooja was strangulated to death and her body was thrown into the Ganga. He also notes that the accused in the case, who were arrested on November 9, confessed to the crime.
Arun and Pooja had eloped earlier this year and got married at an Arya Samaj Mandir on July 24 (almost immediately after Arun turned 21).
“Pooja’s family could not tolerate my presence in her life. They threatened me and demanded that she end the marriage,” says Arun.
“The affidavit by the police has confused and terrified me. I just hope and pray that Pooja is alive and healthy. I have been forced into hiding,” says Arun, adding that he is discreetly making enquiries to know the whereabouts of Pooja.
Accusing the Gurgaon police of trying to save their skin, the couple’s advocate, Pradeep Kumar, said: “On August 30, Arun approached the Farrukh Nagar police station seeking protection for his wife. The police dismissed the case stating that it was just a marital discord. Now we have received the affidavit of DCP, Gurgaon, filed in the Supreme Court, in response to my petition for safety of the couple [inter-caste marriage], where information about her parent and a relative murdering the girl and confessing about the crime is mentioned. We are shocked. By stating that Pooja was already dead five days before the complaint, the police, we feel, are trying to cover their tracks for not taking the couple’s August 30 complaint seriously.”
While the Gurgaon DCP (South) did not respond to The Hindu’s repeated attempts to contact him over telephone, Arun now lives in the hope that he will get some answers about his wife.
“If Pooja is dead, at least give me the right to mourn her. But if she is alive, just tell me so.”