In yet another crime fuelled by socio-economic divide, the kin of a 21-year-old woman murdered her 26-year-old husband right before her very eyes on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday. The deceased has been identified as Pankaj Gauhar, resident of Gandhi Nagar, Ulhasnagar-5.
Suraj Gauhar and his father Raju sustained head injuries after they were attacked by Pankaj’s in-laws. Pic/Navneet Barhate
Police officials from Hill Line police station said despite opposition from both the families, citing caste and social status, Pankaj and Pooja Saudhe tied the knot six days ago. To ensure that none of their families interfered, they opted for a court marriage.
“Pooja’s family was never comfortable with Pankaj running a tea stall in the area and cited this as the primary reason for them being against their union. Upon learning that the two did a court marriage, both the families cooled down and accepted the union. However, Pooja’s family kept taunting Pankaj about his profession and told him to at least find a job of a Class IV worker in the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation,” a police officer said.
In his statement, Pankaj’s brother Suraj — also the complainant — told the entire family was watching television when eight members of Pooja’s family barged into their residence around 12.15 am. They were armed with iron rods, a chopper and a knife.
“Without provocation, they attacked Pankaj. When Pooja and I tried to save him, on of them hit me hard on the head with an iron rod. After assaulting Pankaj, they threatened us of dire consequences if we informed the police. They said all of us would end up with the same fate that of Pankaj,” he said.
After the attackers left, the Gauhars rushed Pankaj to central hospital for treatment, where the doctors declared him dead on arrival. Based on the complaint filed by Suraj, police registered an FIR against Pooja’s brother Arun Saudhe and her maternal uncles Shyam Saudhe, Dhannu Saudhe and Lokesh Saudhe and four others under section 302, 307, 452, 147, 148, 148, 149, 323, 506 (2), 506, 427 of the IPC and relevant sections of the Arms Act.
Senior Inspector Mohan Waghmare from Hill Line police station confirmed they have arrested Dhannu and Shyam Saudhe.
“Two arrests have been made so far. They all reside in the same area and know each other well. The couple got married six days ago against the wishes of their respective families. Prima facie investigation revealed that the girl’s parents loathed Pankaj for operating a tea stall, which according to them was cheap. After marriage they suggested him to find any job, even that of a Class IV worker, in the municipality. Manhunt has been launched to nab the remaining accused,” Waghmare added.