18-year-old woman, neighbour held for her father’s murder

Police in Ayodhya on Sunday arrested an 18-year-old woman and her neighbour on charges of murdering her father for objecting to their alleged relationship. The woman was identified as Ranju while the neighbour was identified as Ravi Lodhi.

The body of 52-year-old Darbari Lal Rawat, a farmer, was found in his home in Saratha village on Sunday morning. There were injury marks around his neck. The police claimed that the two tied Lal’s neck with a rope while he was asleep and strangled him. The body has been sent for autopsy and a report is awaited.

Ranju, who is illiterate and used to help her mother in the field, and Lodhi, also a farmer, would be produced in a local court on Monday, said Rudauli Circle Officer Dharmendra Kumar Yadav. “During the preliminary inquiry, we came to know that the victim was against the relationship of his daughter Ranju with his neighbour Ravi Lodhi. Darbari Lal had several times tried to convince Ranju that her relationship was bringing a bad name to his family because the youth is from the village. Ranju was not ready to end the relationship, following which several times arguments took place between Ranju and her father,” said Additional Superintendent of Police (Ayodhya) Shailendra Kumar Singh.

The police said Darbari Lal had beaten Ranju several times for not ending the relationship.

“During the inquiry, the victim’s wife Suneeta Devi and their neighbours also confirmed to the police that Darbari Lal was against Ranju’s relationship with Ravi. When police questioned, Ranju initially denied the allegation. After questioning in length, she confessed that she, with the help of Ravi, killed her father because he was against their relationship,” said Circle Officer Yadav.

Ranju used to live with her parents. All three of her elder sisters are married.

“During questioning, Ranju said early Sunday morning, she called up Ravi and asked him to come to her house. On arrival, she opened the door and allowed Ravi inside. They tied a rope around Darbari Lal’s neck while he was asleep. After the murder, Ravi returned to his home,” said Yadav.

At the time of the murder, Suneeta Devi was sleeping in another room, said the police. She found her husband dead after waking up and raised an alarm. The neighbours then informed the police, who went to the village and seized the body.

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