#JusticeForKiran : Himachal journalist allegedly murdered for dowry, family faces injustice
SHIMLA – Kiran Sharma, a 26-year-old woman from Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh, worked as a journalist in Divya Himachal, a hindi daily. She was a brave journalist, always ready to stand up for women rights, as per one of her fellow journalist told HW.
On May 8, 2015, she was married to Dehradun-based Robin Joshi, a bank employee. After few weeks of marriage, the in-laws began to pressurize her for dowry. On 25 September, 2015, Kiran called her brother, Ramswaroop Sharma, and she could only say following words before getting disconnected,
Bhai Mujhe Bacha Lo, Mere Sasuraal Wale Mujhe Jaan Se Maar denge. Jaise Insaan Hum Inhe Samjhate They, Ye Waise Log Nahi Hai, Bahut Berehum Hain. (Save me. My in-laws will kill me. These people are not what we had thought. They are very cruel people.)
Kiran’s mother in-law told Swaroop about a quarrel and asked his family to come to Dehradun. However, a few hours later, he was told that it was a small fight and there was no need to come to Dehradun.
Later, on same day his brother is told by her in-laws that Kiran has committed suicide by consuming poison. When the parents and Ramswaroop reached Dehradun, they saw dead body of Kiran. Her body was covered with blue marks and a round wound around the blood stained neck, like she was strangled with a wire. Her clothes were tattered.
The in-laws changed their statement, and said that she hung herself with her dupta.
From the condition of the body, it was clear that she was beaten brutally and allegedly strangled with a metal wire. Her parents approached Nehru Colony police station, but police manipulated their complaint and did not mention word “murder”. Instead, the case was presented as a suicide. Kiran’s cellphone and dairy were also missing. The police did not make any arrest in this case and claimed itself incapable of finding Kiran’s in-laws and husband. Neither could police recover her cellphone and diary. Kiran knew something about her in-laws and there was something about the cellphone, WhatsApp and diary that scared her in-laws.
First statement of Kiran’s in-laws said that she consumed poison and committed suicide. Later, they changed their statement and said that she hung herself from a fan with her dupta. In-laws said they had taken Kiran to a hospital where she was declared dead. When the hospital records were scanned, no patient with Kiran was found registered on 25 September at the mentioned hospital.
When police was asked about the case, Nehru Colony police station in-charge, inspector Mukesh Tyagi said,
There is a lock at the family’s residence at Nehru Colony. We are doing our best to find the husband and in-laws. We hope to apprehend them soon.
The family enjoyed police patronage as well backed by influential politician, so soon the police and in-laws started threatening and pressuring Kiran’s family for mutual compromise.
All the above mentioned facts and allegations were revealed by Kiran’s brother in a press conference held in Shimla a couple of days back. In this conference, Swaroop expressed his doubts about police inactivity and demanded CBI probe into the case.
Kiran’s fellow journalist, Sanjeev Sharma, created a Facebook page “Justice For Kiran” on September 26. Journalists and people in Shimla held a candle march on the Ridge Shimla and Ponta Sahib demanding justice for Himachal’s daughter. Twitter is also buzzing with #JusticeForKiran. More and more people joined the fight for justice.
We want to popularize #Justice for Kiran so much on social media that eventually, the culprits are behind bars. A journalist’s death must not go waste, at least not without putting the dowry seekers behind prison walls. I knew Kiran quite well since the past 15 years. She was a brave girl who would certainly not have thought of committing suicide.
From images, it’s clear that she was beaten or tortured and the wound around her neck weren’t caused by a dupta. The in-laws are on the run after social-media pressure forced Uttrakhand police to take action. It doesn’t sound like a suicide at all. The family of Kiran is facing injustice. Himachal need to support them in the fight for justice her family and fellow journalists are fighting. Kiran will not come back, but we can, at least, ensure that she receives justice and her murders are put behind bars.