Her husband was beaten to death with an iron road on a busy road in Hyderabad and a crowd couldn’t save him, though she begged for help. Syed Ashrin Sulthana later told the police the killers were her brother and his friends. She wants them brought to justice.
Newlywed Sulthana entered her husband B Nagaraju’s home for the first time after his death two days ago. She says she will live in her childhood home, with her memories, till the day she dies.
Nagaraju, a Hindu, died instantly after the attack by his Muslim wife’s brother.
Dazed with grief, Sulthana, 21, holds tight to a framed photo of Nagaraju as Lord Krishna as she speaks to NDTV on the horror of Wednesday evening.
“My husband and I were going on a bike. He slowed down a little to cross the road, suddenly two bikes came. I didn’t realize my brother was on one of them. They pushed my husband, he fell. They started hitting him with rods. When I tried to save him, my brother’s friends pushed me. I pleaded for help but people took videos,” she said.
It was all over within moments, but she felt people had enough time to intervene and stop the attack. She feels she wasted precious seconds asking for help that never came.
“In 10 to 15 minutes, my husband was hit 30 to 35 times with a rod. They hit my husband on his brain. When he died and when I touched his head, my hand went right through… his brain had spilled out . I wasted my time asking people for help, trusting society. I could have used that time to do something more to help my husband. My husband didn’t even realize my brother killed him… Twenty people could have stopped four people. “
Nagaraju, a 25-year-old car salesman, and Sulthana, married on January 31, defying her family, which was rabidly opposed to her marrying outside her faith.
But the two had known each other since school and were madly in love. Their love, they felt, would prevail and win. Religion had never bothered them before.
“There was always a threat from my family. I had told Raju to marry someone else as there was a problem. I tried to persuade him for two months. But he said we will live together and die together. Even if we have to go somewhere far away after marriage. He said I am ready to die for you. Today, my husband did end up dying, because of me. I feel if I had let him marry someone else, he would have lived,” Sulthana shared.
“Being here, in Raju’s childhood home, I feel like I am with him.”
Her mother-in-law presses her to drink her juice and she does, reluctantly – two women, united in grievance.
Sulthana cannot get the gruesome images out of her mind – her husband lying lifeless on the road, his head a mess of blood, flesh and bits of brain.
In the 10 years she had known Nagaraju, Sulthana had never seen him in pain. Yet she saw him die in the most horrific way.
“I thought I couldn’t even survive one minute without my husband. But I am here, talking to you, because I am angry with my brother. All I want is that they suffer for how my husband died,” she said.
“My brother beat me the day before my wedding, on January 30. He locked me in a room and told me to hang myself.”
She somehow escaped and married “Raju” the next day. The couple changed their phone sims. They even went to the police, who advised them to move away from family.