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Two held in dowry torture case

By Devesh K. Pandey

NEW DELHI, FEB. 3. Almost a month after young Jyoti and her four-year-old daughter were brutally tortured allegedly by her husband and in-laws, her mother-in-law and brother-in-law were arrested at Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh today in the wake of non-bailable warrants issued by a court against all the accused.

Jyoti's mother-in-law, Uma Chandra, and her son, Rahul, were arrested from their house, while her father-in-law, Pramod Chandra, and his youngest son, Atul, managed to give the police the slip. "Soon after the court issued arrest warrants against them, the police went to their residence. Uma and Rahul first offered resistance, asking the police to come with warrants. But when they were shown the documents, they were left with no option but to hand themselves over to the police," said Jyoti's brother Sanjay here in the Capital.

The charge-sheet in the case filed this past week-end alleged that Jyoti's husband, Puneet, and his parents and brothers had tortured her and her daughter, Shreya, for dowry. They had allegedly bitten off Jyoti's cheeks and a finger on January 2 night. They did not even spare little Shreya. After a profusely bleeding Jyoti managed to flee and lock herself in another room, they allegedly attacked the baby and tried to bite off her fingers too.

On the basis of a case lodged by Jyoti's brother, the Bulandshahr police had earlier secured arrest warrants against them, but then the accused vanished from the scene. They approached an Allahabad court and secured a stay on the warrants, because of which the police had to wait till the charge-sheet was filed.

Filing the charge-sheet, the police urged the court to issue fresh warrants against the accused since they were not showing up. Today the court directed them to arrest Pramod Chandra, who is a well-known orthopaedic doctor, his wife Uma, and sons Rahul and Atul.

"Due to the fresh arrest orders following the filing of the charge-sheet, the Allahabad stay order stands annulled," said a police officer.

Jyoti's husband Puneet is already in judicial custody as his father had got him arrested soon after the bizarre incident claiming that he had gone insane and had tortured Jyoti and Shreya. It is alleged that Pramod Chandra also got a medical certificate prepared showing Puneet mentally unstable for the past few months.

According to the Bulandshahr Superintendent of Police, Alok Sharma, a hunt is now on for Pramod Chandra and Rahul.

Meanwhile, Shreya is still recuperating at All-India Institute of Medical Sciences here.

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