New Delhi: The family of Nikita Tomar, a 21-year-old student who was shot dead outside her college in Haryana’s Ballabhgarh, has alleged that she was killed because she refused to convert to Islam.
Speaking to ThePrint, Nikita’s mother Vijayawati Tomar said, “Our daughter was very bright. He killed her because he knew he couldn’t force her to convert to Islam… She wanted to become a government officer, had plans to appear for the civil services.”
Vijayawati was referring to the main accused Tauseef Ahmed, who was arrested Monday within five hours of the crime. The other accused, Rehan, was arrested Tuesday. While Tauseef is a resident of Kabir Nagar in Sohna, Rehan is from Mewat’s Rivasan village.
On Monday, the two accused were waiting for her in a car outside Aggarwal College in Faridabad, where she had gone to write B.Com exams. A viral CCTV video shows the two first attempting to abduct her, but shooting her dead when she resisted.
The two accused fled the spot after the incident and were on their way to Mewat before being arrested, according to the police. Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij Tuesday set up special investigation team (SIT), led by Anil Kumar, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Crime, Faridabad, to probe the case.
Nikita was cremated late Tuesday. She is survived by her parents and an elder brother.
‘Forced her to convert’
According to the police, Tauseef Ahmed was known to Nikita and her family, and that he had tried to abduct her two years ago as well. “In 2018, Tauseef had kidnapped the girl. However, the complaint was later withdrawn by the girl’s family,” ACP Anil Kumar told ThePrint.
Vijayawati Tomar said the complaint was withdrawn after Tauseef’s family “pleaded and begged” them.
“We had complained about the boy in 2018 for harassing our daughter. He had been after her life since then, but withdrew the complaint after Ahmed’s family begged us and told us that it won’t happen again,” said Nikita’s father, Moolchand Tomar, who works with a private company.
Tauseef and Nikita had studied together at Rawal International School in Faridabad. Currently, Tauseef was enrolled in a physiotherapy course in Gurugram while Nikita was in her final year of BCom.
Nikita’s brother alleged a “love jihad” attempt by Tauseef.
“Tauseef wanted to marry her, kept forcing her from time to time but Nikita was never interested in him. He wanted to perform love jihad, convert her to Islam,” said 25-year-old Naveen Tomar, who is preparing for his SSC exams in Delhi after completing his engineering.
“We want both of them to be hanged. Only then justice will be delivered. Nothing less than phaansi (death penalty),” he said.
On Tuesday, members of the extended family and friends staged a protest on the Faridabad flyway demanding strict and urgent action against the accused.
“This will keep happening here if the culprits aren’t treated like the way Yogi (Adityanath) sarkar treated Vikas Dubey,” said Gangashyam, a relative of the girl.
A senior police officer, who did not wish to be named, said Tauseef has confessed to the crime, saying he killed her as she was planning to marry someone else. According to sources, it was found during the course of the police probe that Nikita and Tauseef spoke over the phone the night before she was murdered.
Political links and accused’s family
Tauseef Ahmed’s relatives, however, deny the charge of “love jihad”.
“He is a very nice boy and has no anger issue. We know the girl but can’t say why he did that. These people want to make it political so they have started the ‘love jihad’ narrative,” said a relative of Tauseef, who didn’t wish to be named.
Tauseef comes from a family of zamindars and politicians, which has a long history of ties with the Congress party.
His grandfather Chaudhary Kabir Ahmed, after whom the locality Kabir Nagar is named according to family members, was an MLA from Mewat. Kabir Ahmed’s brother Khurshid Ahmed had been elected to the Haryana Vidhan Sabha on five occasions and also served as a minister in the state cabinet. Aftab Ahmed, the sitting Congress MLA from Nuh constituency, is Khurshid Ahmed’s son.
“Tauseef had cleared the medical entrance — NEET — in 2018. He was a good student. I don’t know what got into him,” said a friend of the accused, who didn’t wish to be identified.