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‘Killed because she refused to convert and marry him’: Posters outside Nikita Tomar’s house seek death penalty for her murderer Touseef

"Tauseef comes from an influential politically-connected family whereas we are a middle-class family. We decided it was best to end the matter, Nikita Tomar's father speaks on why they had dropped the case against Tauseef in 2018.

21-year-old Hindu girl Nikita Tomar was shot dead by one Tauseef, who belongs to an influential family of Congress politicians, in broad daylight outside her college on October 26 Monday, allegedly after she refused his proposal for marriage. The family of the deceased, seeking justice for their young daughter who was brutally murdered by Touseef, have now put up posters outside their house stating Tauseef’s motive behind the murder and seeking justice for their daughter’s brutal killing.

According to the report by Swarajya journalist Swati Goyal Sharma, the family who has been mourning the untimely death of their daughter, have put up two large posters on the entrance of the house. One reads:  “Laado hum sharminda hain tere kaatil zinda hain. Haryana sarkar hosh mein aao. Hatyaron ko faarsi do. India wants justice for Nikita Tomar (Dear, we are ashamed that your killers are still alive. Come to senses, Haryana government. Hang the killers. India wants justice for Nikita Tomar”.)

While the other read: “Nikita Tomar (1999-2020). Shot dead by Tousif in broad daylite for refusing to convert and marry him.”

Posters fixed on the walls at the entrance of Nikita Tomar’s house

On October 26, Nikita had gone to the Milk Plant campus of Aggarwal College for writing the final examination for her Bachelors in Commerce (Honors) degree. The campus is around six kilometres away from her house in Sector 52 of Faridabad district of Haryana. Nikita’s brother Naveen, who was supposed to pick her up after the exam, was waiting at a relative’s house located quite close to the campus.

After her exams, Nikita was walking towards the relative’s house with her two friends when Tauseef stopped by in a car, emerged with a pistol and shot her in the head. CCTV footage had shown how two assailants had shot the 21-year-old student in broad daylight outside the Aggarwal college in Ballabgarh, Faridabad.

Moolchand, the aggrieved father of the deceased girl, speaking to Swarajya, revealed that one of the two friends accompanying Nikita immediately called up his son Naveen. Nikita was taken to Faridabad’s Manavta Hospital but was declared brought dead.

“That man (Tauseef) did not meet us even once. He never even approached us to tell what he wanted. He straightaway killed her,” he said.

“All these years, I and my wife have been spending every bit of our resources on children, in the hope that they would make something of themselves and uplift the family. I don’t remember even a day of vacation or self-indulgence,” said Moolchand, furthering that his family has seen extremely difficult times. Moolchand furthered angrily that the “madman” had reduced their sacrifices and investments, to provide Nikita a bright future, to zilch.

Nikita’s friend was quoted by Hindi daily Amar Ujala as saying that Tauseef befriended Nikita at school by posing as Ankit. However, Nikita soon learnt of his religious identity. However, Moolchand and his wife Vijaywati said that they were not aware about this.

In 2018, Tauseef reportedly abducted Nikita. A case was filed back then but after a Panchayat was held, it was withdrawn. Nikita’s family alleges that Tauseef’s family pressurised them into withdrawing the case as they are politically influential. Interestingly, the FIR filed in 2018 did not mention Tauseef in the suspect/accused column, reports Swarajya.

Statement by Moolchand Tomar in the FIR filed after her kidnapping in 2018, image via Swarajya

Moolchand who did not wish to speak much about the 2018 case, said that Nikita was recovered after two-three hours the same day. “What we learnt later was that Tauseef had offered to drop Nikita home in his car after an exam. She had agreed. But instead of dropping her home, he took her elsewhere,” he says. “When he got our girl back, we told the police we do not wish to pursue the case. Tauseef comes from an influential politically-connected family whereas we are a middle-class family. We decided it was best to end the matter,” he says. The family gave an affidavit in local court that there had been a misunderstanding.

Tauseef’s Congress connection

According to reports, Tauseef is the grandson of Kabir Ahmed, a Congress leader who was elected as an MLA from Haryana’s Nuh constituency in 1975 and from the Tauru constituency in 1982. He continued to be Khanpur and Raisika village sarpanch for almost 20 years. Khanpur and Raisika are located in Nuh Tehsil of Mewat district in Haryana.

Further, Tauseef’s late uncle Khurshid Ahmad was a Congress MP of Haryana and was an ex-Cabinet minister of Haryana. Khurshid Ahmed’s son and Tauseef’s cousin Aftab Ahmed was elected as MLA from Nuh, Mewat on Congress ticket and has been a Minister as well.

Nikita’s distressed mother told Swarajya that about a week before the murder, Nikita has revealed to her that Tauseef was harassing her over the phone. The family told Nikita to stay at home and not step out alone. Even on October 26, her mother had accompanied her brother to bring Nikita back home from college.

Nikita’s mother and relatives in mourning

“He was pressuring her to convert and marry her,” reiterated  Vijaywati, informing tha Nikita had wished to join the police or the Army and was working hard to attain her goal. “She wanted to don the uniform. That was her burning desire,” revealed her mother.

Earlier too, Nikita’s family had revealed how it was not only Tauseef but even his mother was forcing Nikita to convert to Islam. Tauseef’s mother reportedly called Nikita several times and asked her to convert to Islam.

Nikita took the Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT) in October. “I only brought her the form. She was unsuccessful but told her that she is confident that she would clear the exam in 2021 with a bit more preparation,” says Moolchand.

Now when the family is gradually trying to come to terms with the loss and move ahead, Moolchand said that he fears for the safety of his son and himself. “Fighting for justice is not easy. These policeman will be gone in a few days and we will be left all alone. His is a powerful family. We have been forced into this battle against them,” he says.

After Nikita Tomar’s murder, her father, mother and brother had been provided with seperate 24-hours security cover.

Several former and serving legislators, ministers and members from all political parties in the state including Congress and BJP have visited him, says Moolchand, but adds that “in the end, I only have promises and assurances”.

Brother of Nikita Tomar demands strict and swift punishment for her killers

Soon after the brutal murder, Nikita bereaved brother Naveen had come on camera to demand swift and strict punishment for her killers. Expressing his fury over the state administration for slackening the investigation into the perpetrated crime, the brother of the deceased had demanded immediate action against the accused. “Hindu ki beti hain toh koi kuch bhi karenge kya”, lambasted Nikita’s brother alleging that had it been a Muslim victim and a Hindu perpetrator, the entire administration would have been on its feet to punish the criminals.

Meanwhile, pointing to a table where a woman is sitting with equipment to test Covid-19, Nikita Tomar’s father said that it was the administration’s ploy to make sure that not many people gather to protest against the laxity of the state administration in handling the case.

Meanwhile, security personnel have been deployed outside Aggarwal college and around the spot outside the college where Nikita was shot. One college student, speaking about the horrific incident said: “Everybody is stunned. Even our families are not allowing us to return from the college alone,” she says.

Haryana government mulling new legislation to curb ‘love jihad’

After the incident came to the fore, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar’s government in Haryana announced that they are also planning to introduce a new law to put a restraint to the menace of ‘love jihad’ afflicting the state. This move came after the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh announced strict measures to curb the rampant love jihad cases reported in the state.

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