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Husband arrested for Rashika Jain’s death

Arrest comes a day after the Supreme Court turned down Agarwal’s petition for anticipatory bail

Our Special Correspondent | Published 15.07.22, 06:39 AM
Rashika Jain

Rashika Jain

File picture

Kushal Agarwal, husband of Rashika Jain, who had died after falling from a height at her in-laws' Alipore house in February 2021, was arrested on Wednesday night from his Alipore home in southwest Kolkata.

The arrest came a day after the Supreme Court turned down Agarwal’s petition for anticipatory bail.

He has been charged under IPC sections 304B (dowry death), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 498A (cruelty towards married women) and 306 (abetment to suicide).

The charge of causing dowry death, in less than seven years after marriage, could lead to a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.

Rashika got married to industrialist Agarwal on February 9, 2020. The arrest came one-and-a-half years after her death.

Initially, Rashika’s parents had lodged a complaint of abetment to suicide with Alipore police station. Later, based on a fresh letter of complaint, stricter charges were slapped on Agarwal and his family. 

Rashika’s parents had alleged that their daughter was “compelled to commit suicide” because of “inhuman torture” at her in-laws’ home.

Rashika, who was 25 when she died, had suffered critical injuries, possibly from a fall from the third-floor terrace of her in-laws’ home in Alipore on February 16, and died at a hospital.

“Things started moving only after Damayanti madam got involved. Arrest is part of investigation. We will be satisfied only after his conviction. He was arrested from his house, which means he had been in his house but was under protection from police,” said Rashika’s father Mahendra Jain.

More than a year after Rashika’s death, acting on a prayer submitted by her parents, Calcutta High Court had ordered the formation of a special investigation team headed by special commissioner, Kolkata police, Damayanti Sen.

Rashika’s lawyer Sk Salim Rahman said: “Kushal Agarwal had been getting shelter from the police all along because of his family’s influence. Police were forced to arrest him as his anticipatory bail plea was rejected even by the Supreme Court.”

A family friend of Kushal Agarwal said: “Arresting after one year is injustice. This (the arrest) happened under pressure.”

The police said they were “collecting all evidence” before making the arrest. 

A senior officer at Lalbazar who did not wish to be named said Kushal had been questioned “at least five times in Lalbazar and at Alipore police station”. “...He had been questioned at least five times. But now we want his custodial interrogation.”

Agarwal was produced in Alipore court on Thursday and sent to police remand.

Last updated on 15.07.22, 06:39 AM
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