Refused marriage of choice, Jaipur woman knocks panel seeking refuge from family
She said that she ran away from her house as her family was against her marrying the man of her choice Dharamveer Bairva.Updated: Jun 07, 2018 22:21 IST
Sandeep Kumar Joshi, a lawyer, had filed a missing person’s report for his 22- year-old daughter Ritika Joshi on May 5. Ritika, along with members of the Rajasthan State Commission for Women, appeared at SP Rural, Jaipur’s office on Thursday and gave a statement that she is safe and sound. But she refused to meet any of her family members.
Ritika approached the commission on Tuesday, seeking refuge from her family. She said that she ran away from her house as her family was against her marrying the man of her choice Dharamveer Bairva. “He (Bairva) belongs to the SC community while my family is Brahmin. I am the eldest child and my family couldn’t tolerate the fact that I wanted to marry someone from a lower caste,” Ritika said. She got married to Bairva in Ghaziabad on May 7.
Her father, however, had another story to tell. “I was not even aware that she wanted to marry someone from a lower caste as she never told me anything about him. Once she ran away from the house, I started grabbing at all straws available to find her. I hacked into her Facebook account and read her chats with someone called Devraj. That’s when I got to know she was involved with someone,” he said.
Bairva had a Facebook profile by the name of Devraj Singh. While Sandeep alleged that Bairva used the name to con women, Ritika said it was his nickname.
Sandeep alleged that Bairva belongs to a family of criminals and his daughter is unaware of the fact. “Bairva’s lawyer initially demanded Rs 5 lakh from me in exchange for information. He later reduced the demand to
Rs 2 lakh, which I deposited in two instalments of Rs 1 lakh each,” Sandeep said.
He said that while looking for his daughter, he had found out that she had got married to Bairva in Ghaziabad and was there since. He said he tried to find out whatever he could about Bairva’s family in the meantime. “I was sure they are using my daughter to extract money and my suspicions were proven right when Bairva’s lawyer contacted me and demanded money.
“I had paid an instalment earlier. Yesterday, I got a call from the lawyer asking for the remaining amount. He called me to a designated location early morning on Thursday. After I gave him the money, he told me that my daughter was back in Jaipur and had approached the women commission,” Sandeep said.
Ritika, however, stands her ground. “My family tried to poison me when they found out that I had a boyfriend. This is why I had to run away. I have married him of my own will and I know everything about him. My family is trying to cook up stories just because they have an issue with his caste,” she said.
Nisha Siddhu, a member of the women’s commission said, “Ritika came to us on Tuesday and narrated us her story. She told us that her family posed a danger to her life. She legally has the right to marry whoever she pleases. Her family has no say in this.”
Ritika, whose parents and uncles are all lawyers, was also studying the same subject. “I just want to be left in peace and want them all to leave,” she said.