21-year-old woman tragically lost her life earlier this week, when a former friend of hers shot her dead outside her college, allegedly over her refusal to marry him. Nikita Tomar was appearing for an exam at her college in Haryana’s Ballabgarh, near Faridabad. After completing the exam, she was waiting for an auto outside her college when a white car pulled up and two men jumped out. One of the men was Tauseef, who had known Tomar since their days in school together. He tried to drag Tomar into the car, and when she resisted, he shot her at point-blank range before speeding away in the car. Tomar was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
Blood-curdling daylight murder of college student identified as Nikita Tomar in Delhi suburb Faridabad (Haryana) caught on CCTV as she emerges from college after writing exam. Assailant identified as Taufeeq arrested, driver of car still absconding. https://t.co/8Yq4CWHsoi pic.twitter.com/HvBVrRgpGy
— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) October 27, 2020
The difference between the religions of the victim and the murderer has led Tomar’s family to allege that this was a case of “love jihad”, a narrative that has snowballed on social media. However, Tauseef’s uncle, Javed Ahmed, said that there was no question of “love jihad”, saying that the family respected all religions while speaking to reporters. It appears the killing was motivated by Tauseef’s personal reasons, as he had known Tomar for years. In 2018, he even abducted her from her family, leading to a case being filed against him. However, Tomar’s family later withdrew the case, citing pressure from Tauseef’s politically connected relatives.
Nikita murder: Accused Tauseef is from a family of Congress leaders
Now this merits political intervention hope @RahulGandhi ji will ensure that this family with multiple members in the Cong will not impede the investigation
Speedy justice for Nikita https://t.co/6xBuzSthqk
— अद्वैता काला #StayHome 😷 (@AdvaitaKala) October 27, 2020
More than an imaginary bogeyman like “love jihad” the sad death of Nikita Tomar in Faridabad is more of a case of male entitlement toward women. Women who make their own decisions about whom they enter relationships with or not face a chilling gamut of very real threats more serious than made-up ones like “love jihad”. In a country where acid attacks, gang rapes, and khap panchayats are established dangers, is there really any need to invent new ones for women?
— Arun Bothra (@arunbothra) October 27, 2020
The police have arrested both Tauseef and his accomplice Rehan. While her killers will face justice, Tomar herself joins the sad, long list of women who paid an unfair price for refusing a man.