Cops Detain ‘Missing’ Woman Day After She Alleges Threat From Kin
Rajasthan Police said they had taken her into custody based on an abduction FIR filed by her parents.
A 26-year-old woman, working as a fellow with the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bengaluru, was allegedly detained by Rajasthan Police, a day after she filed a complaint with the Commission for Women, Delhi. In her complaint, she has alleged that she was being forced to marry against her will. However, Rajasthan Police said they had taken her into custody based on an abduction FIR filed by her parents in Rajasthan’s Dholpur.
Sheena Choudhary, is a graduate from Miranda House College and the Delhi School of Social Work, working as a Mahatma Gandhi National Fellow with the Indian Institute of Management. According to a report in The Indian Express, Choudhary left Dholpur for Delhi. While she lived and worked in Dholpur, her parents live in Wazirabad in Delhi.
A day after the incident, the Delhi Commission for Women has written to Rajasthan Police to intervene in the matter.
Choudhary Approached Authorities Against Her Parents
On 21 November, Choudhary met DCP (New Delhi) Dr Eish Singhal and submitted a letter saying, “My family is forcing me to get married. When I refused, they threatened they would take me away forcefully and stop my job and further studies. Due to the perceived threat, I left Dholpur of my own free will and contacted NFIW (National Federation of Indian Women) for protection. I would like to stress I am safe and do not wish to be sought after or traced by my family.”
A day later, she met DCW chief Swati Maliwal and also sent an email. She sought a restraining order to prevent her immediate or extended family from forcibly accosting her.
Police Pounced on Her: Eyewitness
Rajasthan police took Choudhary into custody even after she filed these complaints. Social activist Shabnam Hashmi, who runs NGO ANHAD and who was with Choudhary on Tuesday afternoon, minutes before she was taken away by the Rajasthan Police, said: “Today (24 November) she was with us at ANHAD. We went to eat at a nearby place, I came back to the office as someone came to meet me, she was with 8 other young girls and boys from ANHAD. As they stepped out of the eating joint, the policemen from Rajasthan police pounced at her and they abducted her and took her away.”
She further added: “I got a call from my colleague and rushed to the local police station as I was told they have taken her to Jamia Nagar police station, when I reached there she wasn't there. I met the SHO who did talk to the Rajasthan police and told them that in front of me very strongly that they have to first bring her to the police station, but the Rajasthan police did not listen to him.”
Acted on Parents’ Complaint: Rajasthan Police
The Rajasthan Police claimed they took her into custody based on a complaint filed by her uncle Praveen Kumar. In the FIR, he said: “My niece Sheena… has been missing since 10.40 am on November 20. We lodged a missing person’s complaint with Nihal Ganj police station on November 21… We suspect an unknown person is keeping her hostage near New Friends Colony (in Delhi).”
Superintendent of police in Dholpur district Kesar Singh Shekhawat told The Wire that Sheena will be produced before a magistrate, where it will become clear whether the woman was abducted by the police or any other person. “We had simply acted on her parent’s complaint. The procedure says that she must be presented before the magistrate where the matter will take its future course,” he said.
The Quint was not able to reach the family for a comment, however, Praveen Kumar, told The Indian Express, “Now everything is fine. There was a communication gap between the family and her… We spoke to her today.”
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