Prayagraj: An alleged dowry death and a gruesome revenge

Prayagraj: An alleged dowry death and a gruesome revenge
Anshika and Anshu Kesarwani at their weddingAnkit Srinivas

A terrible tragedy that has stricken two people, killed three people, and put seven people in prisons.

The incident that occurred on March 18 in the northern Indian city of Prayagraj ( previously Allahabad ) has also shocked residents of two densely populated middle-class neighborhoods.

Warning: This part contains information that some may find troubling.

” It was around 11pm when on 60- 70 citizens turned up at our house. They started beating us mercilessly”, says Shivani Kesarwani.

The invaders, she says, included community members and friends of Anshika, her brother Anshu’s woman, who had been found hanging at the Kesarwani home an hour before.

Anshika’s family and neighbors allege that she was murdered for money, despite Shivani and the officers saying she committed murder.

The Kesarwanis lived in a combined family and owned a home business that dealt in lumber. The family lived on the top floor and the floor, while the inventory and the shop were both located on the ground floor. Anshu and his wife have lived on the top floor since their wedding a year ago, his parents have lived on the first ground, and his girlfriend Shivani has the second floor.

Anshika typically arrived for breakfast at 8 p.m., but on that day, we assumed she must have snoozed, according to Shivani.

When her brother came up from the business at 10pm, she said, he went up to visit his family.

He broke a crystal glass above the entrance to unlock the switch when his smashes and calling went unaddressed. He found Anshika useless. Everyone ran frantically up and heard him scream.

Shivani Kesarwani

Ankit Srinivas

Anshu and his brother reported the death to the authorities station, less than half a kilometre from their house, and Anshika’s families were informed.

Less than an hour later, officers say, Anshika’s household turned up along with lots of family and within moments, an unpleasant fight is said to have broken out between the people.

On her cellular phone, Shivani shows us films of people shouting, hitting each other with wooden pieces. A police stands in the middle, trying- and failing- to deliver order.

When Anshika’s body was taken out of the house, authorities say her friends set fire to the home.

The forest, stored in the earth surface and floor, burned violently, trapping Shivani, her parents and an uncle in the house.

Shivani and her uncle climbed into the neighboring house, which belongs to her aunt, to health after breaking the glass in the next floor. Not so fortunate for her kids.

When rescuers, who took more than three hours to put out the incident, entered the house around 3am, they found the old woman’s burnt systems.

On the ways, my family was discovered. She was carried to the funeral in a sack”, says Shivani, wiping her grief.

Shivani shows a photograph of her parents Rajendra Kumar and Shobha Devi on her mobile phone

Ankit Srinivas

Shivani’s objection to the police titles 12 members of Anshika’s community and “60- 70 mysterious people”.

Anshika’s parents, brother, and their sons are among the seven people who have been detained and are still incarcerated, according to a police established.

They say Anshika’s papa has lodged a counter- problem accusing” Anshu, his parents and sisters” of harassing his child for marriage and murdering her.

Shivani denies the charges against her home, although she admits that they had received items, including a vehicle, from Anshika’s home at the ceremony. They gave their girl whatever they wanted, they said. We did n’t ask for anything”, she says.

Since his wife’s passing, Anshu has n’t left his house. ” He’s in hiding because with most of Anshika’s friends out of jail, he fears for his existence”, she adds.

Since 1961, giving and accepting alimony have been prohibited in India, but 90 % of couples continue, according to a recent study.

Every year, dozens of wives ‘ harassment complaints are made to police, and crime statistics indicates that 35, 493 wives were murdered in India between 2017 and 2022 for bringing in insufficient marriage.

However, it is unusual to encounter this kind of ostensibly grisly retribution in a situation involving alleged marriage death.

Shivani, who is now living with her friend’s home next door, takes us for a walk through what- until lengthy- used to be her home. The vestiges of that night’s horror are strewn around everywhere. The floors are covered in heavy ashes, covered in steel pots and pans, and burned-out skeletal remains of furniture, and the walls are sooted.

” I want justice. My life is ruined, my home and family are gone. I want a free and fair research and people who’s found guilty must be punished”, she says, adding,” Why did they burn the house down? How could we then locate any proof?”

The Kesarwani house and shop

Ankit Srinivas

She’s also unhappy with the authorities. No one entered our home to keep my kids, despite there being at least two dozen police officers present. They simply stood and watched”, she alleges.

Police powerfully challenge the claim. ” It was a delicate matter, and the emotions were great.” We had a focus on getting the system out of the accident and taking it for a post-mortem. A senior police officer who declined to be identified told the BBC that our goal was to reduce the group and calm the situation.

No one had anticipated that the property may start to burn. It was absolutely unpredicted”, he added. ” We called the flames services quickly. We even helped liberate five people”.

The dual tragedy has even scarred Anshika’s home. We visit her parents ‘ apartment, where Anshika lived until her marriage a year ago, to learn their side of the story. The major wall has a massive iron padlock locked inside.

Only 2km away from Anshika’s house is her friend’s home. Among those detained is him and his brothers. The home has so far declined to comment on the media.

Our knocks on the door send out Jawahar Lal Kesarwani, Anshika’s centenarian father. He slumps down in a plastic seat while one of his children painstakingly breathes.

” What can I tell you? All my home is in prison, my children, my sons”, he says after a few minutes.

” They killed Anshika and hanged her to make it look like a suicide”, he adds.

Anshika’s marriage, Mr Kesarwani tells me, was a beautiful event. ” We spent 5m rupees ($ 60, 000, £48, 000 ). We gave her anything a family requires, and a vehicle that cost 1.6m pounds”.

He adds that when Anshika visited them previous in February,” she told us that she was being harassed. We told her to stay put, to change, we told her things would get better”, he says with a note of dread in his tone.

Shivani Kesarwani shows us her home

Ankit Srinivas

The Kesarwanis are a well-known home in their area, and they have neighbors who are shocked by the facts of the double tragedy.

” They’re very good citizens. We ca n’t even begin to imagine how this could happen. A man who lives a few windows down their city says,” They are not citizens who get involved in brawls.”

” We do n’t know who lit the fire, but anyone would lose their mind on seeing their daughter’s body”, he adds.

Anshika was described as “very well behaved… a beautiful girl” by a neighborhood resident and as “unable of the horrible crime they are being accused of.”

” It’s terrible that her parents ‘- in- regulation died in the fire”, she says.

” But the fact that no one is currently discussing what happened to Anshika actually sads me.” How did she death”?

Photos by Ankit Srinivas

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