A couple was brutally hacked to death with an axe allegedly by the family members of the woman in Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun district on Sunday after they eloped earlier this month, police said on Monday.
Govind Kumar, 23, and Asha Kumari, 20, of Urania under Saidpur block reportedly eloped from the village on May 9.
Police said Asha’s father Rambharose called the couple to his home on the pretext of fixing the day for their wedding. Asha returned home on Friday and Govind on Saturday following his request.
“Rambharose apparently told the couple that he is ready to accept their relationship and invited the boy to his house on Sunday to fix the marriage,” Badaun senior superintendent of police Chandra Prakash said.
“When Govind reached the girl’s house on Sunday, he along with the girl were tied with a rope and were attacked with an axe which led to the deaths,” the officer said.
Asha’s family members then left Govind’s dead body inside the house and dumped her body on the street outside the house and fled. Villagers alerted the police about the incident and a police team from Vazirganj police station was sent to the spot. The team sent the bodies for a post mortem investigation. They also recovered the axe which was used in the incident.
Many people, especially women, are murdered each year in India by family members over perceived damage to “honour” that can involve eloping, fraternising with men or any other infraction against conservative social values.
Uttar Pradesh, which registered a single case in 2014, topped the list the next year with 131 cases of murder with honour killing as the sole motive, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
Police have registered a case of murder and criminal conspiracy and filed other charges under the Indian Police Code (IPC) based on the complaint filed by Govind’s father Pappuram against Rambharose, his wife, 2 sons and 2 other relatives.
More charges could be added after the completion of the post-mortem examination, officials said.
“We are also taking the help of surveillance team to arrest the accused and alerted the nearby area. The accused will be arrested soon,” asserted the SSP.
India registered 251 honour killings in 2015 against 28 in 2014, recording a big spike in murders carried out by people professing to be acting in defence of their family’s reputation, the government told Parliament in December last year.
The 792% jump reflects the rigorous data collection on honour killing, which the NCRB started doing from January 2014. It also points to the widespread existence of the crime. Most cases went unreported in the past or registered as crimes under murder. India doesn’t have a specific law to deal with honour killing, forcing law-enforcement agencies to charge suspects under separate provisions of the IPC depending on the scale of a crime.