After a teenage girl eloped with her lover to escape an arranged marriage, the man she was supposed to marry allegedly slit her throat in the street.
A jury heard that Bharat Soma also stabbed the girl’s partner in the neck and slashed his cheek during the alleged “revenge” attack on Jan. 19 in Leicester.
Bharat Soma allegedly shouted, “My wife, my wife,” as he carried out the attack, which was carried out in front of horrified shoppers. He is also accused of knifing a 15-year-old boy who was accompanying the couple.
Soma, 26, denies attempting to murder the pair.
Police body-cam footage shows the victims, 17-year-old Darshana Narotam and her boyfriend, Prashant Govinde, slumped side by side on the pavement and covered in blood as officers attempted to save their lives by stemming the bleeding.
Darshana allegedly pointed out Soma, who had been detained nearby, and said, “…I took a knife from him. My mum and dad trying to force me to marry with that guy, but I haven’t married with him.”
The court heard that both parents had insisted that Darshana wed Soma in an arranged marriage and strictly refused her permission to marry Prashant, whom she had been secretly dating since she was 15.
Adrienne Lucking, QC, prosecuting, said that the young couple fled their homes in London, after which family members—including the defendants—traced them to Leicester.
“After an unsuccessful attempt by Darshana’s family members to force their way into the couple’s flat, which was thwarted by the police, Bharat Soma took matters into his own hands after he was alerted to the couple’s location by a friend…” said Lucking.
Lucking said that Soma attacked the couple on a street with a three-and-a-half inch kitchen paring-knife. Soma allegedly walked up behind the couple and cut Darshana’s throat; when Prashant tried to protect her, Soma tried to kill him. When the 15-year-old boy who was with them allegedly also tried to intervene, Soma cut him, too.
Both Darshana and Prashant were treated in the hospital and survived.
Soma denies two counts of attempted murder as well as wounding with intent upon the 15-year-old.
The teenager’s parents, Narotam Deugi and Parvati Natu, have also been accused of assaulting and falsely imprisoning her, weeks earlier, at their family home in Wembley. They had reportedly locked her inside her bedroom to prevent her from seeing Prashant.
Both parents deny three counts of falsely imprisoning their daughter on three different occasions. Darshana’s mother also denies two counts of common assault; her father denies three counts of common assault.
Also on trial are three of Darshana’s uncles—ages 37, 31 and 25—and one 18-year-old cousin. They have been accused of kidnapping Prashant’s father, Govinde Ramji, on Jan. 12 in an attempt to discover the runaway couple’s whereabouts.
All of Darshana’s relatives deny kidnapping Prashant’s father.
The trial is ongoing.