Twice they ran away together and twice they were separated. Naresh Chavan and Zareen Khan (name changed) say they are in love. On May 21, Nirmal Nagar police arrested 20-year-old Naresh on charges of kidnapping Zareen — after they eloped —, stating that the girl is a minor.
Following fifteen days of investigations and medical examination it was found that the girl was above 18 years of age and Naresh was released. After about a month, the girl’s parents registered a similar complaint of abduction with Kherwadi police, who have now re-arrested the boy on the same charges, again claiming the girl is a minor.
Zareen and Naresh are both residents of the same locality. The couple met three years ago. They wish to get married. Zareen belongs to a well-to-do family, unlike Naresh.
When her parents came to know about the love affair, they opposed it. “Zareen’s family made false complaints against my son and put him behind bars in a kidnapping case,” said Lalita, Naresh’s mother.”
Young and restless
Naresh was arrested and Zareen was put in a juvenile home as she refused to go with her parents. Interestingly, a day before the arrest, Zareen visited Naresh’s house and gave her SSC hall ticket to the latter’s mother as proof of her date of birth. According to the document, she was not a minor. Lalita then approached court and on June 5 the couple was set free.
Senior Inspector Ramesh Khankale of Nirmal Nagar police station said, “The girl was an adult. We got her medical tests done and verified her documents. Zareen and Naresh were both released.”
Naresh left for his hometown in UP and Zareen went to live with her relatives at a house in Kherwadi. She was so in love with Naresh that she ran away to UP to meet him. This time Zareen’s mother Zulekha filed a complaint with Kherwadi police against Naresh. Cops then allegedly forced Naresh’s family to bring him back.
Lalita said, “Kherwadi police regularly called us and mentally tortured us. Because of this, my husband suffered a heart attack and was admitted to a hospital.”
Kherwadi cops again arrested Naresh for kidnapping Zareen. She was deemed a minor and sent to a juvenile home as she once more declined to go with her family. Naresh was locked up at Arthur Road Jail.
Senior Inspector Avdhoot Chavan from Kherwadi police station said, “We have proof the girl is a minor. She is about 16 years old. I don’t know what evidence Nirmal Nagar police has.”
Lalita said, “Life is hell now. I fear walking on the streets. Zareen’s relatives are very influential and they can do anything. Those children haven’t done anything wrong, but they are still in captivity. I don’t know what will become of them once they are released. Jail may have changed them. Cops are being pressurised by the girl’s family to take this case forward. But what can we do? They are financially strong and we are weak.”