In yet another Nikita Tomar-like incident in Haryana, a woman was shot by her spurned stalker two weeks ago.
With six bullets pumped into her body, victim Tanishka Sharma has been battling for life in the hospital for the past two weeks. The attacker, Sahil Khan, was arrested five days after the incident.
Nikita Tomar was a 20-year-old college student who was shot dead by Tausif Ahmed for turning down his proposal of a nikah. After her death, Nikita’s family put up a banner outside their house that said, “Shot dead by Tousif in broad daylite for refusing to convert and marry him (sic)”.
In the recent case, Tanishka, who is also 20, was shot within hours of completion of her wedding rituals with a man her family had chosen.
Tanishka’s aunt (tai) Nirmala Devi told this correspondent yesterday (15 December) that with help of a political leader, Tanishka was recently shifted to Gurgaon’s high-end Medanta Hospital.
She continues to be critical. Nirmala said she has not gained consciousness even once after the murderous attack on 1 December.
The first information report (FIR) in the case was filed on the statement of the groom, Mohan, as the attack took place when the bride, Tanishka, had reached his town after the vidaai ceremony.
The town is named Bhali Anandpur and is about 30 kilometres from Tanishka’s house in Sampla village, where the wedding took place.
The statement says that on 1 December around 10.30 pm, three men in an Innova vehicle intercepted his car. Two of them stepped out with pistols in their hand and shot at Tanishka several times. They fired in the air, snatched a gold chain that the groom’s brother was wearing and escaped in their vehicle.
The statement named one Sahil, son of Dayawan, as the key suspect.
The FIR (number 312/2021) was filed at Bahuakbarpur Police Station in Haryana’s Rohtak district on 2 December. The police booked Sahil and ‘unknown persons’ under IPC sections 307 (attempt to murder), 34 (criminal act with common intention), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 379B (snatching) along with Section 25 of the Arms Act.
Sahil is a resident of Khedi village, adjoining Sampla. While Sampla is an all-Hindu village, Khedi is largely Hindu populated with about a dozen Muslim families, all belonging to Teli jaati.
The police arrested Sahil on 5 December. Officials told the media that they caught Sahil from Paldi village in Sonepat, which is located on Uttar Pradesh and Haryana border.
Two days earlier, two accomplices of Sahil who had been giving him minute-by-minute update of the wedding programme, were arrested. They were found to be minors and were sent to juvenile home.
Sahil was remanded to three days of judicial custody when he was produced in the magistrate court on 6 December.
Tanishka was admitted to the premier government-run PGIMS Hospital in Rohtak.
When this correspondent called up Tanishka’s mother Darshana, she handed the phone to her sister-in-law Nirmala, saying the latter was more educated than her and in the know of things.
Nirmala said that on 8 December, Tanishka was shifted to Medanta after intervention of Deependra Singh Hooda, who has been Member of Parliament in Lok Sabha from Rohtak and is from the Congress party.
Nirmala said that Tanishka has not regained consciousness since the attack even once. “She is in critical care unit. Doctors say she is not ready for operation yet,” said Nirmala.
The aunt narrated the story of Tanishka and Sahil: Tanishka would pass from Khedi everyday while on her way to school. Sahil began to stalk her. It became so bad that the family made Tanishka quit studies after she completed her Class XII.
As Tanishka was good at school and was ambitious, her parents decided they would marry her into a family that lets her resume her studies. Mohan had promised them that not only he would let his wife study further but would encourage her too.
Nirmala said that Sahil is a vagabond sort of a man who has several police cases against him. Sampla Police Station in-charge Rakesh Kumar said that though he had heard this information too, he was yet to confirm it. He said Sahil was around 25 years of age.
The incident has created a sensation in and around Sampla. Earlier in the day when Sahil was arrested, four villages in the area held a panchayat and shut down markets in protest of the attack.
A team from Vishwa Hindu Parishad also joined in and demanded an “Uttar Pradesh-like law against love jihad”. The panchayat called Tanishka a victim of 'love jihad'.
Umesh Devi, former sarpanch of Sampla and chairman of Block Samiti, told this correspondent that such an incident, where a man has killed a fellow village woman, has taken place for the first time in the area.
She said that when Tanishka was still in school, Sahil made her elope with him. The couple was caught the same night and were brought back. Soon after, Tanishka was made to drop out of school by her family.
Umesh said that inquiries by villages revealed that Sahil’s and other Muslim families staying in the village have been lying about their gotra (lineage) all along.
She said that at the panchayat, which she attended, many residents demanded to not allow any 'outsider' to stay without inquiries. She said that Sahil’s and other Muslim families have been living in the area for more than a decade.
Swati Goel Sharma is a senior editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @swati_gs.
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