Himanta Biswa Sarma promised a rigorous investigation. (File)
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma claimed on Wednesday that a triple murder in Golaghat was a result of 'love jihad', a term often used by right-wing politicians to allege a campaign by Muslim men to convert Hindu women by seducing them. Mr Sarma assured that a chargesheet would be filed within 15 days, with the intention of fast-tracking the trial of the accused.
"It is a total case of love jihad. The deceased family was Hindu and the accused belongs to the Muslim community. He first introduced himself with a Hindu name on Facebook... the woman learnt to use drugs when the couple had escaped to Kolkata," Mr Sarma said during his visit to the family of the victims.
According to reports, the victims were identified as Sanjeev Ghosh, Junu Ghosh, and Sanghamitra Ghosh. Their bodies were found with multiple injuries, suggesting they were attacked with sharp weapons on Monday.
The Chief Minister said that the accused, a 25-year-old mechanical engineer identified as Najibur Rahman Bora, was a drug addict and involved in trafficking contraband substances. "The woman was given injectable drugs, under the influence of which she was impregnated. She was tortured when she went to live at the house of the accused and returned to her maternal home later," Mr Sarma claimed.
The Chief Minister expressed concern over cases where religious identities are hidden to influence women into marriage, leading to situations where societal acceptance becomes difficult if the woman decides to return. "In such a situation, she ultimately converts her religion, sacrifices everything and assimilates into a different life," he said.
Following the murder of his wife and her parents, Bora surrendered to the police in the Golaghat district of Upper Assam. "A proper investigation will be conducted, and I hope that further details will be revealed after that... We will take the strictest possible action and no one will be spared," Mr Sarma said, amid questions about the potential involvement of other family members, specifically the accused's brother and mother.
Mr Sarma, who also heads the Home Department, described it as an "open-and-shut case," with plans to file the chargesheet within the next 15 days. He later tweeted, reaffirming the Assam government's commitment to making the society a zero-crime place, stating that "no criminal shall escape justice."
The Chief Minister also revealed that he had received a letter from Ankita, the sister-in-law of the accused, about the incident but had missed it due to the volume of correspondence he receives. The letter, he said, had been sent during the lockdown period resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The circumstances were different then as the lockdown was in place due to Corona. Because of this, I must have missed the letter or else I would have sent the letter to the SP," Mr Sarma explained.
The Assam Director General of Police, Gyanendra Pratap Singh, said an investigation was underway. "We would ensure a foolproof chargesheet against the perpetrator/s and abettors. Lapses in the investigation of earlier cases, including the validity of the marriage certificate adduced in the previous investigation, shall also be looked at," Mr Singh said.
According to the police, the accused had previously been jailed for assaulting his wife and had resumed quarrelling after his release. This ultimately led to the murder of his wife and parents-in-law, after which the accused surrendered at the Golaghat Police Station with his nine-month-old son.