Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh:
Source: Telegraph India
In a shocking incident that highlights the challenges faced by same-sex couples in India, a local occultist or tantrik from Lakhimpur Kheri district has been accused of hacking a 27-year-old woman to death. The victim, Poonam Kumari, hailing from Shahjahanpur, was in a relationship with another woman, Preeti Sagar, whom she had met during their college years. The accused tantrik, identified as Ram Niwas, allegedly lured Kumari with the promise of changing her gender, according to the police.
Relationship Exposes Social Stigma
Poonam Kumari and Preeti Sagar, both pursuing a Bachelor of Education degree, had been in a relationship for a few months. However, their relationship faced opposition from both families due to societal stigma. Despite multiple efforts by Kumari’s family to arrange her marriage with a man, her reluctance revealed her same-sex relationship, leading to further opposition. The situation took a tragic turn when the occultist entered the picture, exacerbating an already challenging situation.
Source: The Constitution Unit Blog
Tantrik Lured Victim with False Promise of Gender Change
According to the additional superintendent of police (ASP) city, Sudhir Jaiswal, the accused tantrik, Ram Niwas, was in touch with Preeti Sagar’s mother. Niwas convinced her that changing Kumari’s gender could enable her to marry Sagar. Falling prey to these false promises, Kumari agreed to participate in an alleged ritual. On April 18, she left her residence, located approximately 50km away from Lakhimpur Kheri, to meet the tantrik.
Perpetrator Arrested, Police Recover Human Remains
After a thorough investigation, the police discovered that Kumari had been in regular contact with Sagar through phone conversations. Suspicion fell on Sagar, leading to her arrest on charges of murder and criminal conspiracy. During police interrogation, the tantrik confessed to strangulating Kumari at a deserted location under the pretence of performing the gender-changing ritual. Subsequently, Niwas disposed of the victim’s body on the banks of the Gomti river in a forested area before fleeing the scene.
Police efforts to solve the case resulted in the recovery of 11 bones near Sagar’s residence. These remains have been sent for forensic examination to establish their connection to the crime. A First Information Report (FIR) was filed by Kumari’s brother, Parvinder Kumar, accusing Sagar, her mother Urmila, and the tantrik, Ram Niwas, of his sister’s murder. The FIR lodged charges under sections 302 (murder), 120-B (criminal conspiracy), and 201 (concealing body after crime) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Incident Highlights Challenges Faced by Same-Sex Couples
This tragic incident sheds light on the plight of same-sex couples in India today. Despite the decriminalization of same-sex relationships, social stigma continues to plague such unions. The case also exposes the dangerous influence of occultists who exploit vulnerable individuals with false promises and unscientific practices. To mitigate the harm faced by same-sex couples, concerted efforts are needed to dispel bias and promote acceptance. Additionally, it is crucial for the police to take swift action against those engaging in such harmful practices, ensuring justice for the victims.
Tags: Occultist, Same-sex Relationship, Murder, Social stigma, Gender change, Criminal conspiracy.