The Bombay High Court has stated that the order protecting the interfaith couple that faced violence and death threats will continue till further notice.
A vacation bench of Justices Shahrukh Kathawalla and Madhav Jamdar said on Saturday that their earlier order of November 5 granting round the clock police protection to the couple will continue even as all the six accused in the case have been arrested.
The Mumbai-based couple faced strong opposition from the woman’s family belonging to the Ahir community. The man, a Brahmin, hails from Chaubari village, Bachao taluka in Gujarat.
Additional public prosecutor Prajakta Shinde informed the HC that six persons, including the woman’s father, brother, second husband and his brother were arrested. The police have also arrested the village sarpanch and the community head.
Following HC rap, Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale was asked to appear before the court through video conference due to police inaction. An FIR was filed against the accused on Thursday and were arrested the same day. They were produced before the magistrate on Friday and were remanded to police custody till November 17.
Advocates for the couple, Deepa Chavan and Pranav Badheka, requested the court to continue protection to the couple as an FIR was filed against the girl in Gujarat by her second husband for alleged theft. The HC, on November 5, asked the order to be sent to Gujarat DGP and produce the same before the court there in case any action was initiated against the girl.
The couple got married last November and faced a backlash from the woman’s family and community. She was taken to the village under the pretext of placating community members, where she was assaulted and married to another man, who raped and tortured her.
After nearly four months, in August, she managed to escape and return to Mumbai and lodged a complaint with the Powai police. However, the police didn’t do anything, to which the judges expressed their displeasure. In September, her father-in-law was grievously assaulted at his residence by the second husband. The HC has kept the matter for further hearing on November 25.
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