Tension prevailed in Uttar Pradesh's communally sensitive Muzaffarnagar district after a young man and a woman – both belonging to different religions – were found hanging from a tree in Bhavra Kala area on Monday. According to police, the duo had committed suicide over their failed love affair.
Police said the couple – Rajnish (21) and Imrana Bano (18) – had been in love for about four years. They were found hanging from the two ends of a dupatta, flung across the branch of a tree. They said that Rajnish, a Hindu Dalit, and his Muslim friend Imrana made a suicide pact as they were not allowed by their families to marry because they belonged to different communities.
The duo was missing since Saturday night. According to police sources, Imarana was to be married to a man of her community on Monday.
The police are prima facie treating their death as a case of suicide. The police were waiting for the post-mortem examination reports of the duo.
The village witnessed heavy police deployment following the incident, as large number of people from both the communities gathered in the area. There was palpable tension in the air. The district administration was taking precautionary measures to thwart any attempt to stoke communal fire.
The incident brings back the tragic image of two teen girls – both cousins – found hanging from a tree last year in the state's Badaun district. It was initially investigated as a case of gangrape and murder, but the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which took up the probe from the UP Police, later filed a closure report concluding that it was a case of suicide.
Muzaffarnagar was rocked by a series of communal riots in August-September 2013, resulting in over 60 deaths. It took months for the affected families to return home due to the riots.