An 18-year-old woman, who had received protection from the Rajasthan High Court, fearing her father's rage after eloping with a Dalit man, was murdered by her father.
The father, Shankar Lal Saini, on Wednesday, March 3, visited the police station and confessed his crime. The incident was reported from Rajasthan's Dausa district.
After recovering the body, the police confirmed that Saini had strangled his daughter Pinki.
Pinki had been forcibly married off to a man on February 16. Six days after the marriage, she eloped with Roshan Mahawar, 24. Saini registered a police complaint the next day, alleging abduction.
After five days, the couple appeared before the court on February 26 and was provided with a security cover. They left for Jaipur along with two police officers. Later on March 1, the duo went to Roshan's house in Dausa, from where Pinki was picked up by her family members the same day.
Roshan's family approached the police and registered an FIR against Pinki's father and other relatives. The family also alleged Saini had abused and used casteist slurs, damaged their house and stole ₹1.2 lakh.
"We were searching for Pinki. Yesterday (Wednesday) night, her father reached the police station and said that he had murdered his daughter. When we went to his house, we found the woman's body. Prima facie, it appears to be a case of strangulation," Senior Superintendent of Police Anil Kumar told The Indian Express.
The police registered a murder case against Saini, and is on the lookout for the people involved in the crime.
The couple's lawyer called out the police for its 'gross negligence' in protecting the duo. "It is gross negligence of the police that despite the High Court's order providing the couple protection, Pinki was abducted and murdered. The couple had told the court that they feared for their safety and wanted to live with each other of their own free will," Nawal Singh Sikarwar, the advocate, told the media.
In the February 26 order, Justice Satish Kumar had stated that Pinki and Roshan's life and liberty were in danger and asked the police to take them to a safe place as per their wishes.
The court's order advised the family not to take the law into their hands and cause any harm to the petitioners. The next hearing on the matter was scheduled for March 9.
After Pinki's death, Roshan said that he feared for his life as well and alleged that the police had not taken their concerns seriously. He somehow had sensed the attack on Pinki and had immediately informed the police when she was forcibly taken away by nearly 40 members of her family.
"I cried and pleaded with the police, but they did not take my concerns seriously," Roshan said.