It’s a love story that you often watch in movies, albeit with slight twist.
17-year-old Sheelam Kumari and Sonu Mohammad met each other in school in Agra, where the boy was her senior.
It was a love at first sight but the worry of belonging to different faith in a communally charged state Uttar Pradesh always bothered the couple.
They eloped, but only to return homes when the girl was married off to a man she didn’t love.
Unable to live without the boy she was madly in love with, Kumari and Mohammad poured kerosine oil on themselves and died.
According to Indian Express, Kumari had dropped a year and enrolled in Class IX where Sonu Mohammad was her senior.
In March, the couple left Agra and fled to Ajmer.
Recounting the events, Mohammad’s younger brother, Ali Mohammad, said, “He bought the bike on Diwali because there was a discount. He had never been anywhere outside Agra. Nor have I. But he told me that he kept reading road signs and drove around.”
With the few hundred rupees between them, Sonu and Sheelam drove to Ajmer, then Ahmedabad.
But they ran out of money forcing Sonu to call home around.
Father Wakeel Khan said, “He asked if he would get beaten if he came home. He admitted the girl was with him.”
Four days later, they were back home but the couple were forced to quit school and the Kumari was married to a boy from a neighbouring village. Sonu was told to assist his uncle at his electronics shop in the main market where his father runs a small paan stall.
Kumari got married in May but returned home four days later. Her father said that she was very happy when she came home.
However, according to police, Kumari walked to Mohammad’s house at midnight and, unseen by anyone, she reportedly climbed the stairs to go to Mohammad’s first floor room where he often stayed alone.
“They locked the door. Around 4 am, they doused themselves with kerosene oil and set themselves on fire,” Kotwali Sadar SHO Aditya Kumar Dwivedi was quoted by the paper.
“This started at 4 am. Her in-laws were coming to take her back at 8 am. I went to the house and I saw her body in that room. When her in-laws arrived, I told them what had happened,” Kumari’s father Rammu Naayi said.
Sonu was buried near his house and Sheelam was cremated in the presence of her in-laws.