Two days after a 21-year-old man was lynched for marrying against the wishes of his community in Haryana's Jind district, police on Friday admitted that they were yet to make any major breakthrough in the case.
"We have not arrested anyone till now but we are interrogating villagers to ascertain the identity of the accused. We are making our best effort and expect to arrest the culprits by Friday evening," Satheesh Balan, police chief of Jind district, told IANS.
Some villages in Jind district, about 160 km from Chandigarh, continued to be tense after the so-called honour killing.
Ved Pal was lynched by residents of his wife Sonia's village Singhwal, near this town, when he had gone to bring her back on Wednesday. The young couple had got married March this year.
"The situation in the area, especially in Singhwal village, is very sensitive. We are keeping a close watch on the situation and have deployed several personnel in the area to avoid any untoward incident," said Balan.
Police had registered a case against the girl's parents and some unknown villagers on Thursday. They are also trying to trace Sonia to record her statement in court.
At least 15 policemen and a court warrant officer were accompanying the victim when he went to Singhwal. The accompanying policemen fled from the spot with the court officer.
The villagers did not allow anyone to take the body of the victim till Wednesday night and displayed it at the village crossing.
Ved Pal had married Sonia, 18, in March this year against the wishes of her family. Her family and villagers opposed the marriage saying that both belonged to the same 'gotra' (clan) and were hence to be considered brother and sister.
The killing of Ved Pal comes even as the administration in another Haryana district, Jhajjar, is grappling with a case of a village council (panchayat) ordering the ouster of a family of a young couple in Dharana village who also married within the same gotra.
So-called honour killings are not new in Haryana, especially in areas dominated by the Jat community.
In June 2007, the bodies of a young couple, Manoj and Babli, were recovered from a canal in Kaithal district after they were murdered and thrown into the canal by relatives of the girl.
In Karnal district last year, Jasbir Singh, 27, and his companion Sunita, who was six months pregnant, were murdered after being strangled in their village. The girl's family was opposed to their daughter, a divorcee, living with Jasbir.
The family threw the bodies of the couple outside their house to send a message to other villagers that going against wishes of the community and family would not be tolerated.