The love bug that kills

A big poser before social scientists

Amit Kumar Pandey

Teenage love appears to have emerged as a catalyst for murder in the twin states of Bihar and Jharkhand. Death makes no sex discrimination. Either girl or boy is eliminated in, what is euphemistically called, ‘honour killing’.

Police may consider these killings as a law and order problem. But for the society, social scientists, parents and activists the development should set alarm bell ringing. Dr Amul Ranjan, director of Ranchi Institute of Neuro-Psychiatry and Allied Sciences, has been quoted saying that the criminal tendencies of teenagers are an outcome of breakdown of a sense of community. The crumbling of the joint family system is one of important factors. The changing social milieu and unfettered urge to go mod also play vital role distorting old values. Adolescents today have video games, TV, bikes and uncensored access to Internet. “All this leaves them with emptiness and void churning out dangerous results”.

Poster from a famous movie ‘Ek Duje Ke Liye‘ that portrays tragic love between two youngsters who paid for it by their lives.

Statistics confirm juvenile delinquency has taken a dangerous shift-with sex and money being the driving factors. From 0.5 per cent of cognisable offences committed in 1999, juvenile delinquency accounted for 1.1 per cent in 2009 in the country. The upswing may not be that alarming but fact is that it has more than doubled in a decade. Teenagers across the country are angry, anguished, restless and hell-bent on snatching what they believe is theirs. A social scientist in said that the present education system is also to blame. Today school students are given sex education while old ‘Gurukul system’ the pupils were taught importance of practising Brahmacharya (celibacy).

A 35-year-old man has been arrested for the murder of a woman, with whom he was reportedly in a relationship with. Alleged killer Sanjay Surana was arrested from South Delhi, six months after police found Geeta Vaid’s body in Giridih forest in Jharkhand. Bijendra Kumar, 18, an engineering student in Jamshedpur, fatally stabbed Khushboo in Ranchi for spurning his love. Now the assailant has been awarded death by a Ranchi court.

A BIT-Mesra (Ranchi) student, Abhishek Mishra ‘died’ of drowning near Dasham fall off Ranchi. He had gone there for a picnic with three other friends, including his girl friend Ragini. Reports are coming now that Abhishek was in love with Ragini, said to be daughter of a big political heavy weight of Bihar and the country. Abhisek’s father has demanded a CBI inquiry into the ‘death’, claiming the death “does not appear to be natural”. He said that there was blood on his son’s face and the autopsy was completed in just 15 minutes. Later the doctors declared him drowned. Police have seized Abhishek’s laptop. Jharkhand Chief Minister has also reportedly supported a CBI probe.

Yet another jilted lover Nirbhay Singh allegedly knifed and injured his girlfriend Poornima in Patna’s Bahadurpur area. According to the police, Nirbhay is a native of Bhojpur. He has since been arrested with the knife. The girl’s father is a resident of Buxar. She has been staying in a private lodge in Bahadurpur and preparing for engineering entrance test for the past five years.

Abhay Singh, 25, who works with a private firm in Pune on a salary of Rs 16,000, told the police that he had affairs with Poornima and had given her his ATM card and she used to draw money from his account here. On his return to Patna, he saw the girl moving with another boy and got enraged over it. When he asked her to keep off that boy, the girl refused and told him not to interfere. That depressed Abhay Singh, who planned to kill the girl and himself.

Abhay told police that the girl called his brother, who is a BMP jawan in Patna, to teach “me a lesson”. Upon this he attacked her with a knife causing injuries on her hand and neck. Poornima’s brother caught Abhay and informed the local police, who arrested him. The girl has been admitted to the Patna Medical College hospital.

Most gruesome case of killing came from Patna when a mother killed her daughter for the ‘crime’ of love marriage. The case is being branded as an ‘honour killing’. The mother Samima Khatoon’s pride of getting her sons educated at the prestigious Jamia Milia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University came in the way of accepting daughter Nazreen’s decision to marry Mohammed Mahfooz alias Raja, whose mother works as a domestic help in her house. The enraged Samima allegedly killed her in cold blood, police said in Patna. Subsequently she told the police that she had taken the help of an eight-year-old boy to kill her daughter.

Nazreen, a biotechnology student, was murdered at her house in the Badi Khagaul area under Khagaul police station in the small hours on April 18. Her body was found the next night. Samima is a graduate and gives tuitions to girls up to Class XII. Her three sons study in universities and her husband, Abdul Hakim, is a cabin man with the railways. On April 14, Nazreen’s father had seen her with Raja on the Danapur railway station. He suffered a heart attack and was admitted to the Danapur Rly hospital. On April 16, Nazreen and Raja got married secretly. On April 17, Nazreen returned home on her mother pledge to accept the marriage. The next day, Nazreen and Samima had a tiff over Raja. When everybody was asleep, Samima hit her on the head with a heavy object. When Nazreen resisted, Samima called the boy, who helped her hold the victim. She then strangled Nazreen the police said. Samima has been sent to jail.

In case of another ‘honour killing’ the police have arrested the father of a girl for his alleged involvement in the murder of Mohammed Dilshad Ali Khan, with whom she had an affair. The body of Dilshad, 19, was found in the Madhopur area under Didarganj police station of Patna City on March 29. His relatives, who stay in Jakkanpur, had identified the body. Dilshad used to live in a private lodge at Sabzibagh in Patna City and was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration from a private institution. The police, during investigation, had stumbled upon the girl with whom Dilshad was having an affair. Her father was arrested in the Postal Park area under Jakkanpur police station. He admitted to have committed the crime and also revealed names of some other accomplishes. According to police, Dilshad had left the lodge around 10.30 pm on March 28 on his motorbike. He had told his co-residents that he was on his way to meet a friend named Ashraf. Police said that Dilshad and the girl were in touch regularly. On the night he left the lodge, he went to meet the girl at her uncle’s home in Sampat Chak area under Gauri Chak police station.

The police said Dilshad and his girlfriend were allegedly caught together when her family returned home. On seeing Dilshad with the girl, they attacked him with cricket stumps. He was beaten to death on the spot, police said and added around 4 am, they took out an SUV, drove to Madhupur and dumped his body there. One of the family members took the boy’s two-wheeler and left it near Patna Sahib Railway station, Police later found the boy’s helmet from the house of the accused.

Rohit Kumar, 15, a Class X student of Patna, was allegedly killed by friends Vishal Singh and Anand Kumar, both 18. Rohit was offered a chloroform-spiked drink and killed. His throat was also slit with a shaving blade. Vishal and Anand wanted to use Rohit’s phone to demand Rs.10 lakh as ransom from Rohit’s parents. The police arrested the two after Rohit’s body was recovered on May 4.

Naresh Barnwal of Dhanbad is in the police net. He got his wife murdered by ‘supari’ (contract) killers as he wanted to marry his lovebird Khusaboo, a cousin of Suman. It has been reported that Naresh had taken an insurance of Rs. 50 lakh for Suman. A teen-aged boy and his nephew paid with their lives for ignoring caste restrictions in the matters of the heart. The boys, whose decomposed bodies were fished out from in a pond at Mau Dhibra village in Rohtas district were allegedly killed for the ‘crime’ of falling in love with a girl from a different caste. Police claimed to have solved the double murder within 24 hours of the recovery of the bodies by arresting the father of the girl and his associate. The father of the girl, Satyendra Singh alias Chhotu Singh, confessed to killing Manoj Kumar Pandey (19), a resident of Nadauwa village and his nephew, Pintu Pandey (18), on the intervening night of March 24 and 25. Satyendra and Bhola Paswan, a family friend, were arrested from Jamodhi village. Satyendra, during his interrogation, admitted that he had no option but to kill Manoj, who had fallen in love with his 17-year-old daughter. Police said that Manoj came from a Brahmin family and the girl was a Rajput.

The girl and Manoj studied in Chanakya High School at Milki village. They were to take the Intermediate exam from March 26. A month ago, Satyendra, a retired army man, spotted his daughter talking to Manoj on a mobile. He lost his cool, snatched the cell phone and asked her to mend ways. The warning had no impact. The confession read: I discussed the matter with my friend Mahendra Ram, a retired BSF personnel, who advised me to settle the issue for ever”. Satyendra allegedly agreed to pay Rs 1 lakh to Ram who asked his son Bhola Paswan to invite Manoj for chaita singing. Manoj and Pintu obliged Bhola, who was a friend of the former. Satyendra and his associates allegedly kidnapped Manoj and Pintu while they were returning home from the village on the intervening night of March 24 and 25. They allegedly killed the two boys and dumped their bodies in the pond at the adjoining Mau Dhibra village.

Even as the mystery surrounding the death of Delhi-based Business Standard journalist Nirupama Pathak at her home in Jharkhand’s Koderma refuses to recede despite the police investigating the case for the past 12 days. It has now become a judicial battlefield for the dead girl’s family and that of her boyfriend Priyabhanshu Ranjan, also a journalist in Delhi. Torn between the conflicting claims of a distress-driven suicide and murder for family honour, the 23-year-old Pathak’s unnatural death on April 29 has got entangled in a questionable autopsy and an apparently directionless police investigation.

A Koderma police team that interrogated Ranjan. The autopsy report, which had dubiously ascertained the cause of Pathak’s death as asphyxia due to smothering, was referred to a top Jharkhand hospital for conclusive opinion from experts. The report has been rejected as incorrect by a former forensic expert with the AIIMS in New Delhi. While Pathak’s family insists she committed suicide after sexual exploitation and cheating by Ranjan, his family in Darbhanga in Bihar asserts that the budding journalist was harassed and murdered by her family for her inter-caste love affair.

Police said that Nirupma was in distress as she was pressured by her parents to quit her job after they learnt of her affair with Ranjan, who was also delaying their marriage plans despite Pathak being three-months pregnant. Both the warring families have moved the Ranchi high court, demanding a CBI probe.

These are a few cases that have we have published for the people and social leaders to read and ponder. The trend of love marriages and rejection by concerned families is growing at an alarming pace. The society as a whole and the governments need to take suitable steps to stem the rot.

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