The father accompanied his daughter to the forest on the outskirts of the city to bury her dead baby but instead raped and killed her on 5 November, Bhopal city superintendent of police Umesh Tiwari said. He left their bodies in the forest.
It was only nine days later, on November 14, that the police found the bodies after being alerted by a forest guard.
Initially, police officers were only looking at a murder case. Tiwari said it was only when the body was sent for an autopsy that it turned out that she had been raped before she was strangled too.
The 55-year-old was booked for murder and rape. His 23-year-old son has been charged for the murder conspiracy.
The accused had been upfront about killing his daughter and told his son about the murder, not the rape. The next day, the two also told his elder daughter that he killed her sibling.
“During interrogation, the father said he was looking for a chance to kill his daughter and when she contacted him, he couldn’t control his anger,” the father told the police after his arrest, according to police officer Umesh Tiwari. He reportedly said villagers used to mock him and many relatives stopped inviting his family over because of his daughter’s inter-caste marriage.
The woman lived in the Shujalpur area of Shajapur district with her husband. On October 20, she went with her baby to celebrate Diwali to her elder sister’s house in Bhopal since her husband was going to be in Chhatisgarh capital Raipur for some time. He worked with a tent house.
It was during this visit that her son died of pneumonia. She didn’t tell her husband about their child’s death. Her elder sister called her father and brother, who live in Sehore district, next door to Bhopal.
“The father, who had broken all the ties with the woman after her inter-caste marriage, came and asked her to bury baby’s body. The father and brother took the woman to a forest to bury the baby’s body,” said Tiwari.
“The man asked his son to guard the motorcycle and accompanied his daughter into the forest,” said Tiwari. He started speaking about her decision to marry outside her caste. But his daughter didn’t say a word. The police officer said he claims to have lost his cool and started beating his daughter. Later, he raped her before strangling her.
Tiwari said the son and his elder sister were not aware of the rape.
Ratibad police station in-charge Sudesh Tiwari said police told the woman’s husband about his wife’s murder on Monday. The woman didn’t have a mobile phone and had last spoken to him on Diwali using someone else’s phone
“We got married one-and-a-half years ago after eloping. Her father had filed a fake complaint that his daughter was missing, at Bilkisganj police in Sehore then but we informed police that we were married. Her father then threatened to kill his daughter if she ever returned to his house,” the husband said.