An ‘illicit love affair’ is gradually replacing sudden provocation as the intent of the average murderer in the Capital. The city witnessed passion-related murders at its highest in the last three years. “Crime of passion has become quite common in the city. Out of the total number of the murder cases reported in the last year, 30 per cent are crimes of passion,” said Amulya Patnaik, joint commissioner of police (southern range).
According to the Delhi police, the total number of murders jumped from 523 in 2009 to 554 in 2010. Incidentally, the joint commissioner’s revelation came on a day when the police arrested seven people for two separate, but gruesome murders.
“One being an honour killing, committed on New Year’s Eve. A 24-year-old professional musician and his teenaged cousin were arrested for luring one of their ‘close friend’ to a desolate spot and allegedly battering him to death with a baseball bat because he used to send lewd text messages to one of the accused duo’s girlfriend in west Delhi”.
Similarly, five persons were arrested for beating a man senseless and setting him ablaze because he was romantically involved with the sister of one of the accused in southeast Delhi.
“Both these murders in addition to the rape-cum-murder of a 17-year-old orphan in Dwarka’s sector 14 have certainly left a sour taste in the mouth as far as crime in the city is concerned. A disturbing trend that of what is misconstrued as an ‘illicit love match’ underlies all of them,” said a senior police officer.
According to the officer, a streak of intolerance and psychological factors inherent in an urban lifestyle were the reasons behind them.
“All three incidents seem to have occurred when the accused person’s sense of machismo or male pride were not only called into question but challenged. So, the brother thought it was fair to kill his sister’s lover because he did not belong to the same higher socio-economic background and the two cousins battered their friend to death because they felt their ‘manliness’ being called into question,” the officer added.
As many as ten incidents of honour killings had surfaced till the end of the last year.