Protect woman threatened for ties with man belonging to another caste: Bombay High Court

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court directed the Pune Police on Tuesday to ensure safety of a 19-year-old law student and look into her allegations of facing threat to life due to her relationship with a man belonging to another caste. The petitioner, Priyanka Shete, approached the high court last week through her counsel Nitin Satpute. A vacation bench of Justices M S Karnik and R I Chagla directed the Talegaon MIDC police in Pune to look into Shete’s complaint and take appropriate steps to ensure her safety.

Shete, a second year law student, said in her petition that while she belonged to the Maratha community, she was in love with her coursemate Viraj Aghwade, who hailed from the Matang community, considered a “lower caste” in the state. As per Shete’s plea, the man was from a “poor family” and her parents were against the inter-caste relationship and were threatening her that if she continued meeting Awghade, they will “kill both of them”. Shete alleged that her parents had been “torturing her” and in February this year, tired of such torture, she attempted suicide by consuming some medicines.

She was later admitted to Pavna hospital in Pune where, after necessary treatment, doctors referred the matter as a medico-legal case to the Talegaon police which did not take any action, her counsel told the court. In March this year, Shete’s paternal uncle also threatened her by pointing a country-made pistol at her, Satpute alleged.  He urged the court to direct the police to ensure Shete’s safety.

The state government, however, told the bench that Shete must be directed to make a specific complaint at the police station concerned. At this, the bench directed a Talegaon MIDC police station officer, who was present in the high court, to look into Shete’s allegations and ensure her safety.

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