“WE will be killed by our community if we go back home,” are the chilling words that officers of Oshiwara police station heard yesterday while trying to convince a runaway Rajasthani couple to go back to their hometown, when a police team from their home state reached the city to collect them.
While some officers of Oshiwara police station were on patrol duty on Wednesday night, they apprehended Ankit Singh, who was trying to open a car and steal a laptop.
In the course of interrogating Ankit, the police went to his Bangur Nagar room in Goregaon (West) to recover items he had stolen earlier and found a young couple staying in the same house.
Sensing something amiss, the sleuths decided to investigate further and found out that a case had been registered at the Tarabhim police station near Jaipur in Rajasthan, against Baljit Singh Meena (19) for kidnapping Pinky Meena (18). When Pinky was questioned at the police station, she claimed that Baljit had not kidnapped her, but they were in love and had eloped. They came to Mumbai because they feared their respective families and community leaders would kill them in the name of honour.
Tarabhim police was informed and a team arrived in the city yesterday to take the couple back to Rajasthan. But Pinky refused to budge. “We will be killed if we go back. It would be better if we are kept in jail here,” she said.
After much discussion between the officers from the Oshiwara police station and the police team from Rajasthan, the couple was assured of protection and then they left for their hometown.
“According to the FIR filed by Pinky’s brother, who is a lawyer at Rajasthan high court, Baljit has been charged with kidnapping Pinky from her college along with three accomplices. The witness in the case is Pinky’s uncle,” said sub-inspector Vijayanand Patil from Oshiwara police station.
Rubbishing the allegations, Pinky said that she and Baljit have been in a relationship for two years.
“When my family found out, I was beaten. My brother threatened to complain to the panchayat about us, which we are not willing to face. I forced Baljit to run away as we could have become victims of honour killing. I took gold jewellery from my house and forced Baljit to take me to Mumbai,” she said.
Pinky added that they met Ankit while on a train to the city last month.
“He offered to let us stay with him in his room and we were paying him Rs 3,000 as rent. Baljit found a job at a mobile networking company. We had no idea about Ankit’s activities,” Pinky said.
After listening to Pinky and Baljit’s version, PSI Devendra Singh from Tarabhim police station assured them that they would be given protection.
“Baljit has to be presented in court because of the kidnapping case. They can appeal in court as they are not minors,” said Singh.
In the name of honour
>> A married woman and her lover were tied to a tree, partially disrobed and severely beaten for nearly three hours under orders of a caste panchayat at Sarada area in Udaipur district on Sunday for having illicit relations
>> A man beheaded his 20-year-old daughter with a sword in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan in June this year for alleged affairs with several men in the village
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