In February 2019, a horrific hate crime shattered the life of Nirmala, the only survivor of the crime that cost three lives. Today, Nirmala is a picture of despair, tormented by the gory imagery every day.
She is a living example of what happens when communalism triumphs over love.
Nirmala, who belongs to a village in Uttar Pradesh’s Balrampur district, got married to a man, Raju, from the same district in 2016.
Though her family found Raju to be a good match, there was one point of contention: Raju’s younger brother Monu had eloped with a local Muslim girl some years ago. The elopement had caused tension between Raju’s and the girl’s families. However, since the couple had not returned to the village since their elopement, Nirmala’s family decided to go ahead with the alliance.
Nirmala, who is now 24, told Rashtra Jyoti that the first two years of her marriage were peaceful and happy. She gave birth to a son.
In the month of January in 2019, Monu arrived in the village to visit his parents. His wife, who was the mother of two children by then, came along too. She briefly visited her parents’ house.
The woman told Rashtra Jyoti that despite several years of her marriage, her parents tried to convince her to divorce Monu and come back into the Muslim fold. She refused.
In February, the couple went back to Mumbai, where Monu works in a factory. His wife’s brother Saddam, who was now young and had begun to work in Kerala, decided to avenge the ‘insult’ of his sister marrying into the Hindus, says Nirmala.
As per the police, Saddam gave Rs 50,000 to a local named Mahiuddin to attack Monu’s family. Mahiuddin, with the help of a person named Kalaam, barged into Monu’s house one night and killed his father Jagram, elder brother Raju and younger sister Gudiya. The killings were carried out by slitting their throats.
The duo attacked Nirmala too, but she survived. Her face and neck still bear the marks of the attack.
The incident happened in Rajak Tola area of Arya Jogiyapur village in Balrampur.
Jagram’s wife had died several years ago. His younger brother Motiram was the one who gave a complaint to the police, based on which a first information report for the murder was filed.
Nirmala returned to her maiden home soon after the crime. Now, she and her four-year-old son live with her parents and brothers. She is the youngest of four siblings. Nirmala is financially completely dependent on her brothers, who work as daily wagers. Her son has not started going to school yet.
Motiram told Rashtra Jyoti that after Nirmala left, he, along with wife and children, left the old house and shifted to the outskirts of the village.
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