Haryana honour killing: killer family detained (Lead)

May 10th, 2008 - 11:35 pm ICT by admin  

Karnal (Haryana), May 10 (IANS) Members of a family in a village in Haryana’s Karnal district were detained Saturday by police for strangling a young couple because they got married against prevailing norms. Jasbir Singh, 27, and his wife Sunita, who was six months pregnant, were murdered in Ballah village, about 35 km from here Friday. The woman’s family was opposed to their daughter, a divorcee, living with Jasbir.

Under pressure not to take strict action despite the gruesome murder, the Haryana police only detained Sunita’s father Om Prakash and other family members and their supporters but did not formally arrest them. In all 19 people were detained though 12 others were also named in the first information report (FIR).

The accused belong to the dominant Jat community. Elections on three assembly seats are to be held in the state later this month.

After post-mortem examinations, the bodies were cremated Saturday amid tension in the village.

In what is being seen by police and district authorities as an outright honour killing, Sunita’s relatives kidnapped the couple from Machhroli village near Panipat and killed them in Ballah.

After committing the murder, the family threw the bodies outside their house Friday to send a clear message to other villagers that going against wishes of the community and family would not be tolerated.

Police officials said the main provocation for the killing was that Sunita’s family had come to know that she was pregnant.

A.S. Chawla, the Karnal district police chief, earlier said a case of murder and conspiracy had been registered against Om Prakash and others. He said that some suspects had been rounded up in this connection.

The woman’s family remained unrepentant. Sunita’s mother Roshni Devi backed the action of her husband and others in killing the couple, saying the family had “saved its reputation”.

Locals admitted that some villagers in Ballah had hailed and applauded the killings.

The police are likely to question them all.

Honour killings are not uncommon in Haryana, especially in areas dominated by the Jat community.

Last year, the bodies of another young couple, Manoj and Babli, were recovered from a canal in Kaithal district after they were murdered and thrown into the canal by the woman’s relatives.

The state’s illegal khap panchayats, or community courts, have also been doling out extra-judicial punishments to couples who get married against traditional norms.

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