The horror of honour killings appears to have ‘caste’ its net beyond India's shores.
A Belgian teenager of Indian origin has allegedly been murdered by her stepfather who disapproved of her boyfriend — another Belgian-based Indian of another caste.
Police arrested Mehtab Singh on Tuesday on the charge of poisoning 18-year-old Amrit Pal Kaur.
“It looks like a case of honour killing. We have come to know that there was some caste issue between the families of the boy and the girl,” said Police Commissioner Varinder Kumar.
The police also recovered a broken ceiling fan from the house on Wednesday.
“A thorough search was made and we found a broken ceiling fan. It is possible that the girl was first strangulated with some belt and then hanged from the fan. But we are still probing the case thoroughly and looking at who all were involved in this,” Kumar said.
Singh and Kaur arrived in Amritsar from Brussels on June 25. Foul play was suspected when Kaur died the same day. Singh allegedly showed undue urgency in cremating her body at the local crematorium, without even informing relatives about the death, police said.
“We received a call a few days ago about the mysterious death, and after initial investigation registered a case of murder and destruction of evidence against the stepfather and subsequently arrested him,” Kumar said.
Singh allegedly cajoled Kaur to return after promising he would get her married to her boyfriend, Lakhwinder Singh.
On Wednesday, Lakhwinder contacted the police through an email in which he accepted Kaur’s family was against their relationship.
The email also said that Kaur had agreed to go to India with her parents because they had promised to get them engaged after their return.
“Kaur stayed over at her friend’s place on June 23 because her parents were forcing her to go to India with them. She returned home only after they agreed to get us engaged. They then took her to India on June 25 and then I came to know that she had died,” the email said.