Three days after she married her boyfriend in a temple, a 21-year-old Delhi University student was murdered by her parents and secretly cremated.
Police said Jagmohan and Savitri Yadav, residents of southwest Delhi’s Dwarka, strangled Bhawna on November 15 for marrying outside the caste. They have confessed to the murder and were arrested on Tuesday, DCP (southwest) Suman Goyal said.
Bhawna, a third-year student of Sri Venkateswara College, married Abhishek Seth, 24, a contractual assistant programmer at Rashtrapati Bhawan, at Arya Samaj Mandir in Connaught Place on November 12. They had met at a party two years ago.
It was a shotgun wedding. Bhawna’s parents, who disapproved of the relationship, had fixed her engagement to a man from their caste on November 22. “They decided to marry, hoping her parents would come around,” said a friend of the couple.
“We went to Abhishek’s house after the wedding and his father told us Bhawna’s parents must be informed. They came and promised to honour the marriage. They took Bhawna away, saying they’d keep her home for a few days and promising to host a grand wedding,” said Vishal, another friend.
When she reached her house in Bharat Vihar, Bhawna was allegedly beaten for dishonouring her family and ordered to divorce Abhishek. Unable to change Bhawna's mind, her parents strangled her, police said.
After the crime, the Yadavs left by cab for Alwar, Rajasthan, taking the body with them. They told neighbours Bhawna had been bitten by a snake and that they were taking her to an ayurvedic practioner in their native village. “When they reached the village, they told their relatives she’d died on the way. They cremated her and returned to the city,” said a police officer.
Abhishek filed a police complaint on November 16 after failing to get through to her. “Finally, one of her cousins told me she had been cremated,” he said.
The Yadavs told the police Bhawna had died of a snake bite. “But we interrogated them separately and when they gave contradictory versions, we knew they were hiding something. After hours of questioning, they confessed to the murder,” said the officer.