Brutal rape, murders and killings of Dalit teens in Haryana’s Jhansa village have foxed the police.
A 15-year-old girl and her teenage male friend went missing from Jhansa village near Kurukshetra on January 9, the police’s first reaction was to treat it like any regulation elopement.
But when the teenagers’ semi-naked bodies were recovered separately over the next week, the police realised they were handling a more complicated case with multiple possibilities.
The girl had suffered brutal injuries, reigniting memories of the December 16 gang rape and murder in Delhi.
The older of two daughters in a Dalit family from the Chamar community, the girl lived with her family in a single-story house that had just two rooms.
Her father works as a tailor at a shop around 20 kilometers away. “She aspired to be a doctor and would say she would rid us of our poverty. We decided to provide private school education and tuitions to our daughters,” her mother said.
The 18-year-old boy belonged to a Dalit family as well. From the Valmiki community, he lived in a small, dingy brick house around 500 meters from the girl’s home. He was the second of three sons. His father works as a house painter and the boy helped his family financially by doing odd jobs on holidays.
Academically, the Class 12 student was different from the girl. His teacher, Naresh Khurana, said he was more focused on his jobs and was irregular at school and tuitions.
The teenagers studied at the same school and took tuitions from the same teachers. Members of both families claimed ignorance about their friendship, but their schoolmates and teachers said their “relationship” was common knowledge in the school for the past year.
Like most evenings, the two of them had left from their homes for tuition at around 4 pm on January 9, but neither of them reached class. The girl’s mother learned of her disappearance at around 7.30pm, when she visited the tuition centre to walk back with her as usual. It soon emerged that the boy was not to be seen as well.>