He was a poor boy, hailing from a family of farmers. She was a rich girl, with her family running a dog breeding business which had an outlet in Delhi's R K Puram area. But that was the least of their problems. Both Dharmender Barak, 23, and Nidhi Barak, 20, hailed from the same village of Gharnavati, and belonged to the same caste and same gotra.
Despite the odds, the two decided to get married and eloped on Tuesday. A day later they were dead, allegedly murdered by her family in a suspected case of honour killing. Nidhi was reportedly lynched and cremated. Dharmender was allegedly beaten up, stabbed and beheaded, and his head dumped outside his house.
The police have arrested four persons: Nidhi's father Billu, uncle Ravinder, mother Rita and their driver Mahesh Chimpi. But Dharmender's relatives are not willing to speak. They haven't even filed a police complaint. They don't let his mother speak either, dragging her indoors when she walked out to address the media.
Police said the two had been in a romantic relationship for the last three years. While Nidhi was pursuing a course in fine arts, Dharmender was doing an ITI diploma course.
While the financial status of the two families is very different, the girl's family disapproved of the fact that they were from the same village and same caste, said a senior police officer.
The couple eloped on Tuesday, but Nidhi's family reportedly lured them back on Wednesday. They promised them that they could get married. They sent their car to bring them home, said the officer.
On arriving home, Nidhi was killed first. Dharmender was tortured, the bones in his hands and legs were carefully broken, and he was stabbed repeatedly on his chest, he said.
The police said the youth was then beheaded and his head was dumped outside his house. “At that time, there were no male members in Dharmender's house and nobody came out. We think Dharmendra may have been decapitated in full view of those inside the house,” said the officer.
No missing persons report was filed by either family when the couple eloped