Months after eloping with a boy, girl returns to parents’ house; dies in hospital soon after

A Sessions court here has asked the Delhi Police Commissioner to intervene and order further investigation in a case of suspected ‘honour killing’ in which a 16-year-old Muslim girl, who had returned to her house after eloping with and marrying a Hindu boy, was admitted to a hospital under suspicious circumstances where she passed away.

On March 18, 2011, the boy, Monu Jatt – against whom the police filed a charge-sheet indicting him for kidnapping, rape, and murder charges – had dropped the girl at her house after the couple allegedly received a phone call from the girl’s family intimating them of a death in her family. Two days later, the girl was admitted in a hospital by the family, which claimed she was suffering from fever symptoms resembling malaria. However, the forensic report revealed that the death was caused by consumption of copper sulphate. The girl’s family shifted the blame for the death on Monu claiming that he had administered poison to her and then dropped her outside their house.

However, a neighbour of the girl’s family deposed that on March 18 he saw the girl walking towards her house. He said he knew that the girl had eloped with someone, but since the matter concerned a girl, he did not make further enquiries. The boy’s grandfather, in whose house in Jhajjar the duo were hiding, also deposed about the telephone call from the girl’s house after which Monu left the girl with her family. Doctors at the hospital where she was admitted and passed away said they had urged the victim’s family to take her to a better hospital but they refused to do so.

Boy convicted of kidnapping

Acquitting Monu of rape and murder charges, while convicting him for kidnapping as the girl was a minor, Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said: “A young girl from a poor family has died under mysterious circumstances apparently because she had dared to go by the dictates of her heart and had eloped with a man whom she loved who incidentally belonged to a different religion. Sadly nobody appears to be concerned with her tragic death. I refuse to remain a mute spectator...Further investigations would be required to be conducted on the issue of unnatural death of the prosecutrix particularly on the aspect of honour killing of the deceased prosecutrix 'F' and on the role of her parental family in the same. However, since the local police appears to have already made-up their mind and given a clean chit to the family of the deceased despite voluminous material pointing a finger towards them, it would be desirable that the Commissioner of Police, Delhi, personally intervene in this regard.”

The court, while pointing out the odd behaviour of the victim’s parents said: “It is this behaviour of the parents of the prosecutrix of giving incorrect (medical) history, delaying her treatment, not shifting her to a specialty hospital despite the advice of doctors at BJRM Hospital and then taking a different stand in the court to the extent that she had never come to their house which is highly suspicious and the possibility of the girl having been poisoned by her own family and her unnatural death being on account of honour killing cannot be ruled out.”

Monu had eloped with the girl on September 16, 2010. He took her to Jhajjar and married her after a police complaint was filed against him. The police also alleged that Monu was upset with the girl because of the kidnapping complaint filed against him which forced him to flee. The victim had also called up her family and allegedly told them she was happy with Monu but her family warned her not to visit them again.

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