Honour killing: Groom’s family wants death for all convicted

March 30th, 2010 - 10:35 pm ICT by IANS  

By Alkesh Sharma
Karnal (Haryana), March 30 (IANS) Her son and his newly-wed wife were brutally killed on the orders of a khap panchayat three years ago, but Chanderpati fought for justice despite all odds. She was a relieved woman Tuesday when a court ordered death for five guilty men, and wants the same sentence for a sixth man convicted.

A trial court in this Haryana town Tuesday awarded death penalty to five people and life imprisonment to a sixth, all convicted for the honour killings of a young couple in 2007.

Chanderpati, mother of Manoj, the young man killed, said: “The whole village has boycotted our family but it did not deter us from seeking justice. I am happy with the verdict that at last my son and daughter-in-law (Babli) have got justice. But I do not understand why the court has spared Ganga Raj.”

Ganga Raj, a small-time political leader and khap panchayat (community kangaroo court) member, was given life imprisonment by the court. He was instrumental in instigating the khap to declare the marriage of Manoj and Babli null and void.

“Our fight has not ended here. We will not rest till he (Ganga Raj) also gets the death penalty,” said Chanderpati.

Lal Bahadur Khowal, counsel of Chanderpati, said: “It is a very important and good decision of the court. This decision will certainly prove a landmark to end the brutal killings in Haryana in the name of caste and so called honour.”

“We will soon move the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Chandigarh against the life imprisonment awarded to Ganga Raj. He deserves nothing less than capital punishment,” said Khowal.

Manoj, 23, and Babli, 19, had eloped and married in May 2007. They were murdered the following month after being chased by Babli’s relatives who wanted to avenge family honour.

Those sentenced to death included Babli’s brother Suresh, Rajinder and Baru Ram (both uncles), and Gurdev and Satish (both cousins).

“Ganga Raj is a dangerous man. Our family continues to live in fear. The government should provide security to our family,” said Rekha, sister of Manoj.

Rekha said her mother and she had been getting life-threats from the relatives of the accused.

Lawyer H.C. Arora, who took up the matter of providing security cover to the family in the high court, said: “We will always stand with the victim’s family and ensure the protection of their rights and lives.”

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