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'Nitish and Bharti were madly in love'
November 27, 2006 21:06 IST
Nitin Katara, brother of the late Nitish Katara, told a Delhi court on Monday that his murdered brother and Bharti Yadav, sister of prime accused Vikas Yadav, were 'madly in love'.
Deposing before the court of Additional Sessions Judge Ravinder Kaur, Nitin said he was in Pune on February 17, 2002, when he received a call from Bharti saying that her brothers had taken Nitish away and she was worried they would harm him.
He told the court that on February 19, he received another call from Bharti, saying that henceforth she would communicate through e-mail only as it would be difficult to make phone calls.
In the meantime, Nitin had identified Nitish's body, found abandoned on a highway, by his wrist watch.
Neelam Katara, Nitish's mother, said in her statement that Bharti, a key witness in the case, her deceased son, Bharat Diwakar, Shivani Gaur and Gaurav Gupta were friends while they were studying in a management institute in Ghaziabad.
The friendship continued after they passed out of the institute and took up jobs, except Bharti who remained unemployed, she added.
Neelam told the court that the friendship between Bharti and Nitish later turned into a love affair and they intended to marry.
Neelam said she was not in favour of the marriage but did not oppose it either as they were in love.
Statements of Nitin and Neelam Katara were recorded by the court as per its November 23 order after one of the accused, Sukhdev, had objected to the presence of Neelam, another witness, in the court during Bharti Yadav's deposition.
Neelam told the court that when on February 17, 2002 Nitish did not come back home till 3 am from Shivani Gaur's wedding in Ghaziabad, she got worried and called up Bharti.
Bharti said she, too, did not know and was trying to find out Nitish's whereabouts.
Bharti then gave her father D P Yadav's phone number to Neelam.
When she called up D P Yadav, he told her that he was busy with elections and would sort out the problem, said Neelam in her statement.
Bharti telephoned her on February 18 and advised that they should not search for Nitish in UP or Haryana but in Punjab, where her brother Vikas had a factory.
On February 21, Ghaziabad police informed Neelam that a body was found in Khurja in UP and asked them to come for identification, she testified.
On Monday, Neelam was examined against Sukhdev as her testimony in relation to Vikas and his cousin Vishal Yadav has already been recorded.
Nitin, too, was examined against Sukhdev and his testimony would against Vikas and Vishal would take place on Tuesday.
Bharti had, last week, moved the court seeking a bar on Neelam's presence in the court during her deposition on the ground that she would feel uncomfortable.
The court had, on November 20, directed in-camera proceedings in the case during Bharti's testimony and prohibited the entry of media while allowing Neelam Katara, amongst some others, to be present.
The Delhi High Court, where Bharti had challenged the trial court order on Neelam's presence, had left it to the discretion of the trial court and the given situation in the court to take a decision on the issue.
Katara was kidnapped and murdered on the night of February 16-17, 2002 from Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, where he had gone to attend a marriage party.