A minor girl was married to her rapist under duress and was found dead by suicide in her house within one year of their wedding in Camp area of Pune. The 22-year-old man and his mother were booked by Pune police on Saturday for driving his minor wife to suicide.
The arrested man was identified as Rohit Raju Pawar (22), a resident of Booty Street area in Camp, Pune. While Pawar himself is a high-school dropout and unemployed, his brother works as a rickshaw driver.
The accused and the now-deceased are distant relatives and he had gotten in touch with her after her family had visited his family over the summer in 2019, according to the police.
He was imprisoned for over three to four months in a case under relevant sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offence (POCSO) Act, 2012 registered at Khadak police station for sexually assaulting the teen.
“He was in jail in 2019 for sexually assaulting her and had been released after a few months. The girl had lost her father in 2017 and he pressurised her mother with maligning their reputation by telling their social circles that he had raped the daughter in order to get the mother to marry the girl to him. The mother gave in and in June 2020, the girl was married to him,” said police sub inspector AD Sonawane of Lashkar police station who is investigating the case.
The two were married in June 2020 and the girl had shifted from her parent’s house in Bhawani peth to the accused man’s house in Camp.
Her 34-year-old mother, who is also a complainant in this case, has submitted that the now-deceased girl was 17 years and 7 months old when she died by suicide. Therefore, the girl was 16 years and 6 months old when she was married to the arrested man. The police have now asked the mother to produce her birth certificate.
The complainant as well as Pawar’s mother who is a co-accused in the case, both work as domestic helps in Pune.
The man allegedly suspected the teenager to be having extra-marital affairs and routinely abused her verbally and physically, according to her mother’s complaint.
The man had started asking the girl to ask for money from her parents in order to pay for his regular consumption of alcohol, according to the complaint.
On Friday, the girl was found dead – suspected to be by suicide – in Pawar’s house.
A case under Sections 498(a) (domestic violence), 306 (abetment to suicide), and 34 (common intention) of Indian Penal Code was registered at Lashkar police station against the two.