Co-accused in three murders -- of her husband, mother-in-law and a police inspector -- Sarita Rani, 23, shows little remorse but only regrets that she will have to wait longer before she can live with her lover, dismissed UT police constable Basant Kumar alias Bunty, 26, the man alleged to have turned a killer just to be with her after regressive societal norms of Haryana forced them apart.
Breaking her silence for the first time since the couple’s arrest by the Sonepat police from Delhi over a week ago, Sarita, who is two-month pregnant, said, “Kya, 14 saal hi to wait karni hogi. Fir toh saath hi rahenge. (We’ll just have to wait for 14 years, and then we’ll live together).” Her belief stems from the hope that Bunty, charged expressly for murder, or perhaps both of them – Sarita charged for criminal conspiracy – would get life term that usually lasts 14 years.
“We were in love like any young couple. Everything happened due to those who separated us in the name of culture,” she said, talking to HT outside the court on Monday, categorically blaming the tradition that bans same-gotra and intra-village marriages. Sarita and Bunty – both from Tomar gotra of Jats, hailing from Gorar village – had got married as per Arya Samaj traditions in February after eloping, but were forced to nullify their marriage even after staying as man and wife for three weeks.
Sarita was forced to then marry a man from Deepalpur in Sonepat district on April 15. But Bunty took a taxi from Chandigarh to Deepalpur on April 18 and shot dead her husband and mother-in-law with his service rifle before both fled. Earlier this month, Bunty allegedly killed a UT police inspector after the couple was found loitering around the Sector-17 bus stand. A day after the inspector’s murder, the duo were arrested.
Both Sarita and Bunty were produced before the court on Monday after their four-day police remand for inspector Sucha Singh’s murder ended. The court sent them in judicial custody and they would now be taken back to Haryana from where they had been brought here on production warrants.
“I did not do anything,” stressed Sarita, while waiting to be escorted out of the court. “I have nothing to say,” was her reply to every other question.
All through, even as Sarita avoided eye contact with him, a silent Bunty not once took his eyes off her. “He is too possessives about her. Bahut khyal rakhta hai iska (He really cares of her),” said a UT cop who escorted Sarita to the courtroom.
Bunty faces another charge
The UT police, meanwhile, took specimen signatures of Bunty in connection with the charge of cheating levied on him. That case was registered -- and three cops were even suspended – for the April 18 issuance of a rifle along with 20 live cartridges to him even though he was then under suspension since March for remaining absent from duty without giving any valid reason.
Posted then with the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB), Bunty took the rifle from Police Lines in Sector 26 and later used the weapon to kill the husband and mother-in-law of Sarita.