From spurned men to unfaithful partners, the many shades of crimes of passion

In Jharkhand’s sub-capital Dumka, Shah Rukh and his accomplice Naeem recently set Class 12 student Ankita Singh on fire after pouring petrol on her.

The main accused Shah Rukh, who was in ‘love’ with the victim, had been troubling her for the past few months. He kept pressurising her for marriage over phone, after getting her number from somewhere.

The victim’s parents had advised Shahrukh to stay away from Ankita, but to no avail. The accused even gave death threats to Ankita over phone on the night of August 22. A few hours later at 5 a.m., he poured petrol on the victim through the window of her room and set her on fire.

The victim succumbed to her burn injuries after battling for her life for six days in the hopsital.

Lakhs of people across the country, especially on social media, expressed anger over the incident after a video of the accused laughing while he was being taken to jail surfaced.

After a month-and-a-half, a similar incident was reported from Bhalki village under Jarmundi police station area of Dumka. A man named Rajesh Raut barged into 19-year-old Maruti’s house and set her ablaze by pouring petrol on her. The victim died the following day.

The accused had been pressurising Maruti to marry him despite already being married. He committed the crime after she turned down his proposal.

In September, 22-year-old Khushbu was shot dead by her boyfriend Raju Oraon, with whom she had been in a live-in relationship for a year in Chanho, Ranchi. The victim went to live in her father’s house after a strife with the accused.

Raju along with his accomplice, Sonu Oraon, reached her house and asked her to accompany him. On being refused, he shot her dead with a pistol.

In another case, a youth brutally stabbed a school girl with a knife and shot her dead in Kariwadih village of Garhwa district. The police investigation revealed that the accused wanted to marry the victim and killed her after she rejected his proposal.

Several incidents similar to such crimes of passion have been coming to the fore in Jharkhand almost every other month.

Dharmendra Kumar, lecturer of psychology at Kolhan University, said that one of the major reasons behind the increase in such crimes is personality and mental disorders due to complicated lifestyles.

The result of anger, excess of emotions and impractical aspirations dominating the youth and teenagers is being seen behind such incidents, he added.

On the night of June 29, Kanhaiya Singh was murdered on the steps of his house in Jamshedpur, following which the the city’s political temperature rose.

The SIT constitued by the police revealed a shocking tale — the victim’s daughter Aparna Singh along with her lover Rajveer Singh hatched the plot for the murder as she considered him an obstacle to their love.

Aparna gave a diamond ring gifted by her father to Rajveer to sell for arranging the money to be given to a shooter. She guided the shooter about her father’s activities over phone to help with the murder.

In Patratu in Ramgarh district, Chanchal Kumari along with her lover killed her younger brother, Rohit, and buried his body in the quarters where she lived alone in June. The police revealed the matter several weeks after the incident.

Similarly, on June 18, a man identified as Arpit barged into his girlfriend’s house in Janak Nagar locality in Ranchi and killed her and her brother, Praveen Kumar Singh.

The student and her brother were stabbed with a knife and later hit by a hammer. The victims’ mother, Chanda Devi, was grievously injured after being attacked on the head with the hammer.

Ranchi-based psychologist and counsellor Bhagyashree Kar said that these methods of committing crimes are often inspired by web series, films and crime shows.

Uncontrolled use of social media also creates such complications, he added.

DSP Vikas Chandra Srivastava, posted at the Investigation Training School of Jharkhand Police, said that it is difficult to prevent such incidents through policing.

He said the criminals who plan such crimes by sitting inside their homes cannot be kept under police surveillance.

“It is definitely the police’s responsibility to gather evidence in such cases, to prepare strong chargesheets and show readiness in getting the criminals punished by the courts. If speedy trials are held and strict punishments are given, it would definitely create a sense of fear among the criminals,” added Shrivastava.

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