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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Barmer police team leaves for Kashmir to trace missing woman

Police claimed that the girl had converted to Islam in December last year.

jaipur Updated: Mar 30, 2018 21:52 IST
Mukesh Mathrani
Mukesh Mathrani
Hindustan Times, Barmer
Ritu Khandelwal, 18, went missing from her home in Barmer.
Ritu Khandelwal, 18, went missing from her home in Barmer. (HT Photo)

A police team from Barmer left for Kashmir late on Thursday to record the statement of a woman missing since March 16, police said.

Ritu Khandelwal, 18, went missing from her home in Barmer, and when her family registered a missing person’s report, the police found that she was in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

Police claimed that the girl had converted to Islam in December last year and married a Kashmiri man, keeping her family in the dark.

Barmer superintendent of police (SP) Gagandeep Singla contacted Kashmir police to seek their help in finding out the missing woman. “Kupwara SP assured me of all possible help, after which a special team has been sent to Kashmir to record the missing woman’s statement,” Singla said.

Earlier, a Barmer police team, who went to Kashmir to search for the missing woman, returned back. Barmer police received an order from the Jammu and Kashmir high court on March 22 to provide security to the couple so that no harm is caused to them.

The missing woman’s parents refuted the police claims, alleging that their daughter had been kidnapped from Ahmedabad.

At a press conference held on Wednesday, Ritu Khandelwal’s father Ganesh Kumar said she had neither converted nor married the Kashmiri man. “We fear that she’s been brainwashed and her life is in danger,” he told reporters.

Ganesh Kumar said Ritu boarded a bus to Surat (Gujarat) on March 16, but she did not reach there. He alleged that the documents produced in the Jammu and Kashmir high court had been forged using his daughter’s fake signatures.

“She took history exam on December 20 at Barmer College and has been at her aunt’s place in Mumbai from December 26 to January 3,” he said, adding that she couldn’t have converted on December 27 and married on December 30 when she was in Mumbai.

The documents that the Barmer police received on March 22 showed that she had converted and became Zeenab. Police also received a copy of the marriage registration certificate in which Gulzar Ahmad Khan is mentioned as her husband.

Ritu’s uncle Kundan, who had gone to Kashmir with Barmer police, claimed that Kashmir police officials had also expressed apprehensions that the documents had been forged. Ritu’s original documents, he said, are in Barmer.

Reacting to Ritu’s family members’ claims, Barmer police said the couple had approached the Jammu and Kashmir high court, seeking security from private respondents; the HC directed the police in Kashmir and Barmer to not act against them.

First Published: Mar 30, 2018 21:51 IST

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