The love affair of Basant and Sarita began sometime in 2010.
It all started when Basant returned home to his native village Gorar for a brief holiday while undergoing training in the army. Sarita lived in the same lane, just a few yards away from his house. The couple fell in love and started meeting secretly.
Basant quit the army midway during the training when he was selected as a constable in the Chandigarh Police. This probably was a crucial development as Basant's selection provided the couple with an option to dump their families, leaving the village forever and settle in Chandigarh.
The lovers continued with their secret meeting for two years. Though they were spotted together by some villagers but none grew suspicious about the seriousness of their relationship.
Since both belonged to the same gotra (Tomar), their matrimonial alliance was not possible due to societal norms, which prohibits such marriages. Families in Haryana villages, barring Sirsa district, are socially boycotted and married couples are not allowed to enter the village.
Basant's father Rajbir Singh said: "According to societal norms, Sarita and Basant are brother and sister. Treating them husband and wife was beyond our imagination."
After Basant eloped with Sarita in February and married as per Arya Samaj tradition, a village-level meeting was convened where it was decided that the same-gotra marriage has to be terminated. Rajbir said villagers, including his family, were of the opinion that if the wedlock was not terminated, it would set a wrong precedent.
With the help of Basant's childhood friend, the couple was tracked and forced to end their marriage for the sake of community and gotra.
Sarita was dispatched to her maternal uncle in Bhainsuru village of Rohtak district as per an agreement between the two families. She, however, kept reminding Basant of the vows taken by them - "come what may they will always be together".
After Sarita was married off to Sandeep of Deepalpur village, Basant made one last effort to reunite with her lover. But as fate would have it, an entanglement led to the killing of Sarita's husband Sandeep and mother-in-law Roshini Devi on April 18.
SARITA EGGED ON BASANT FOR REUNION
A villager, who wished not to be identified, said: "Everything started falling into place after both were separated in February-end. After Sarita was married, she called up Basant and reminded of the promises they had taken to lead life together." A neighbour of Basant said: "Basant visited the village a few days before the crime was committed and asked her mother that he was going to join his services in Chandigarh."