U.P. BJP legislator’s daughter moves court for protection

Father denies threatening to kill her for marrying a Dalit

July 11, 2019 10:37 pm | Updated July 12, 2019 01:04 am IST - New Delhi/Lucknow

The daughter of a BJP legislator from Uttar Pradesh on Thursday sought protection from the Allahabad High Court, alleging a threat to her life from her father after her marriage to a Dalit man.

Sakshi Misra, 23, whose father Rajesh Misra is the MLA from Bithari Chainpur in Bareilly district, had uploaded a video on social media on Wednesday declaring her marriage to Ajitesh Kumar, 29. In another video, she appealed to her father to stop opposing her marriage and urged him to restrain associates he had allegedly set upon them.

The petition claimed that Mr. Misra was unhappy with the inter-caste marriage. The judge posted the next hearing for July 15.

“I have not threatened to kill anybody, neither have any of my men or family. Nobody faces any threat from me,” the MLA said, adding that he was busy with the membership drive of his party.

Bareilly Senior Superintendent of Police Muniraj G. said the police came to know of the matter through social media and assured the couple of protection if they sought security. “We have put Ajitesh’s house under round-the-clock security. We are trying to trace the couple and assure them regarding their safety,” said the SSP.

Harish Kumar, Mr. Ajitesh’s father, alleged that his family was getting threats from people close to the BJP MLA. Last week, the family moved out to an undisclosed place. “I have approached the local police, media and the BJP MLA and apprised them of the situation and also shown them the marriage certificate. The issue is between two families and we can sort it out,” said Mr. Harish.

In short videos shared on social media, Ms. Sakshi said her family led by her father and his associates were after the lives of the couple

“We got married. My family has set people upon us. We are tired of running,” Ms. Sakshi is seen as saying in a video shot apparently inside a car in an undisclosed location.

Her husband, who deals in real estate, is seen seated next to her. He said the MLA’s family planned to “kill” them to “save their honour” as he was a Dalit. “This is the reason. They plan to kill us,” he said.

Ms. Sakshi, who flaunts her ‘sindoor’ as proof of her marriage, names people close to her father as among those threatening the couple. The two also alleged that the men following them even came to the hotel they were hiding in while on the run.

“Please accept it (the marriage) and let us live in peace... I want to be happy. I want to be free,” said Ms. Sakshi, while urging her father to change his "mentality" and rather focus on his politics.

Her Dalit husband and his relatives were “human beings and not animals”, she reminded her MLA father, while appealing to him to stop harassing them.

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