Bharti Yadav a victim of male-dominated society: court (Second Lead)

May 30th, 2008 - 10:34 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) Taking a strong stance against the “male-dominated society”, a city court Friday awarded life imprisonment to guilty cousins Vikas and Vishal Yadav in the 2002 murder of Nitish Katara and termed it an “honour killing”. “The murder was an honour killing by the accused persons as they did not like their sister’s affair with a boy of a different caste and they could never accept her plans to marry him.

“The motive of the murder can be better understood in the context of socio-cultural framework of society wherein some sections of society from birth indulge in repressive measures against girls to ensure that they are kept unaware of their rights,” Additional Sessions Judge Ravinder Kaur said in her order that ran into nearly 1,100 pages.

The judge rejected the prosecution’s contention of awarding death penalty to the Yadavs while awarding them life. The court also imposed a fine of Rs.160,000 each.

The court had found them guilty of murder, kidnapping and destruction of evidence.

The prosecution held that the cousins had killed Nitish, son of an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, on the night of Feb 16-17, 2002, as they did not approve his close ties with Vikas’s sister Bharti.

Nitish was kidnapped and murdered after he attended a wedding in Ghaziabad that night. His body was found in a village in Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh.

Kaur said: “Girls are made to play subordinate roles to their brothers. It is not digested by the elder male members of the family, particularly the brothers, that a female exercises her right to choose a male partner of her own choice which often leads to shocking and macabre consequence as it happened in the present murder case and it was nothing but the result of a prevalent gender bias.”

Giving her observations on Bharti’s role, the judge said: “She had exercised her own discretion in choosing her male partner and was about to execute her plans to marry him, which was not to the liking of the accused persons, and the result was that a young innocent boy lost his life.”

Remarking that Bharti’s deposition in the court was crucial, the judge observed: “I feel her conduct… did not (do) justice to the soul of the deceased without whom she had claimed she could not survive.”

Bharti, now based in Britain, had avoided court summons apparently under family pressure, before deposing before it.

She tried to make a “balanced statement” in the court as she had already lost Nitish and did not want to lose her brother, the judge noted.

“From the conduct of the accused persons, the inference can be drawn that they were aware of the relationship between the two and Vikas did not appear in the court on both days when Bharti was examined though he was present in the lock-up.

“This shows that he had the knowledge of the relationship between the two and had no courage to face Bharti,” the judge said.

The verdict came as relief for the victim’s mother, Neelam Katara, who had fought for justice against the powerful Yadav family.

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