Police: Dalit man killed by in-laws after he sought protection
Days after he married an upper caste woman against her family’s wishes and sought police security, a Dalit man was beaten to death, allegedly by his in-laws, near Bhikiasain in Almora district of Uttarakhand Thursday.
Police said the body of Jagdish Chandra – a member of the Uttarakhand Parivartan Party he unsuccessfully contested from the Salt constituency in the 2022 state elections – was found in a car on Thursday evening, and his in-laws were trying to dispose of it.
The police have arrested the mother, stepfather, and half-brother of the woman who married Jagdish Chandra. His body has been sent to Almora for post-mortem.
Almora SSP Pradeep Kumar Rai said, “The man, identified as Jagdish Chandra, married Geeta Singh alias Guddi (both in their 20s) at a temple on August 21. Guddi’s parents separated many years ago and she was living with her mother Bhavna. Stepfather Joga Singh and half-brother Govind. After marriage last month, the couple moved to Almora. On Thursday, Jagdish had gone to Bhikiyasain for some personal work.
“It appears that the man was brutally thrashed with some blunt object. We have arrested all three accused. We are interrogating them. The murder weapon has not been recovered yet,” he said.
DIG (Kumaon Range) Nilesh Anand Bharani told that Joga, Govind, and Bhawna kidnapped Jagdish and beat him up in a car.
“We were informed about the kidnapping around 4 pm and started a search operation. We caught the accused around 8-10 km from Bhikiyasain at 6 pm when they were trying to dispose of Jagdish’s body.
Police said Guddi’s family was opposing her marriage to a Dalit man.
On August 27, the couple wrote a letter to the SSP of Almora, seeking protection, saying that their lives were in danger.
While no permanent security cover was given to the couple, Bharni said the police had “the matter under information”.
“We were informed and we provided them security in Almora. On Thursday, Jagdish left without informing the police. We cannot say whether we were continuously monitoring or had given them 24-hour security, but we were aware of the danger and there was police surveillance.