Apr 5, 2016

Honour killing: Mandya man kills daughter for falling in love with Dalit boy

Sarayu Srinivasan
The News Minute
April 4, 2016

honour killing
In the last five years there have been no convictions in these cases

Mandya police have said that the death of a caste-Hindu girl, who was in love with a Dalit boy, is suspected to be a case of honour killing by the girl’s family.

A case of murder has been booked against the girl’s father and two maternal uncles.

District superintendent of police, Sudheer Kumar Reddy told The News Minute that the father and two maternal uncles were interrogated on Monday during which they admitted to murdering the girl and hanging her from a tree near the house to make it seem like suicide.

The 18-year-old victim, identified as Monica, belonged to the Gowda community. According to the police, her family cremated her body on their farmland in Timmana Hosur village in Mandya Taluk at 4 am on Sunday.

The hurried cremation conducted before sunrise gave rise to suspicion and the police rushed to the spot. However, the body was completely burnt leaving no proof.

Following this, police detained Monica’s parents and a few relatives on Sunday morning. The villagers who were convinced that the girl had committed suicide, opposed the detention. They said that the village was celebrating the village deity's festival and it was inauspicious to keep a dead body at such times. Hence the family was forced to hurry with the cremation.

“We repeatedly interrogated all the family members separately for hours and there were many inconsistencies in their statements. When we countered the father and the maternal uncle with the gaps in their narrative, they admitted to the crime,” the SP said.

“Monica’s father Mohan and maternal uncle Ramakrishna murdered her late on Saturday night. We are still getting details on how she was killed. The other maternal uncle Suresh, helped them hang the body from a tree near the house to make it appear as if it was a suicide,” he said.

He added that the family had also physically tortured Monica, a PUC student who had gone missing on March 31 and was returned to her residence with the help of the Mandya Rural police a day later.

Asked how the family found out about her relationship, the SP said that she had previously attempted to elope from the house and the family got to know through sources that she was in love with the boy.

Members of Karnataka Jana Shakti, a human rights group, are organising a proteston Monday in Mandya district against the incident.

Malige, who works with the human rights group, said that in the last 5 years, excluding the current case, there have been five instances of honour killing from Mysore, Mandya and Ramnagara districts that they have come across. However, there have been no convictions in these cases because persons belonging to minority communities in the villages are discouraged from pursuing these cases further.

Most of these honour killings are done by people belonging to OBC communities, she said.

"The accused would go to jail for 6 to 7 months and come out on bail. Especially because there is nobody to prove the murder," said Malige.

"Take for instance this case, the boy is a Dalit and his community is in the minority compared to the larger and more powerful Vokkaliga community. Fearing repercussions, the boy's family might not let him say anything that could be taken as evidence of murder," she said.

"The girl’s family deliberately burned the body so that all the evidence of murder is erased," she added.


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