Nearly 10 months after a 21-year-old woman died under suspicious circumstances at her husband's home in Kashmir's frontier district of Kupwara, it has come to fore that it was an honour killing, a rarity in the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley.
Police said the girl was found dead under mysterious circumstances on February 16 in Sever Malgund village of Lolab in north Kashmir's Kupwara district.
"The case took lot of twists and turns. Finally, it came to fore that it was her family who killed her for honour. We have, so far, arrested five persons in the case, including father, brother, husband and a cousin of the girl," said Tariq Ahmad, the station house officer concerned.
Police have also issued a lookout notice against the cousin and brother-in-law of the victim, Fayaz Ahmad Shah.
Police said the young woman, belonging to an upper caste family, was in love with a man of the other caste. He was a teacher and lived in the neighbouhood.
"Some days before her marriage and subsequent death, the woman had eloped from her home to live with the man she loved. But she was sent back by his family with the promise that they will approach her father properly for marriage. When she returned home, she was forcibly married to her cousin," Tariq Ahmad said.
Police revealed that the man - with whom she had an affair - had to spend 10 months in jail along with eight of his family members after the relatives of the woman accused them of murder.
"She died a day or two after her family forcibly married her. It was not her lover but her family who killed her. Medical reports state the cause of death as poisoning and asphyxiation," the SHO said.
The officer accepted that her lover and his family had to face an "unsympathetic administration and biased police investigation". A special investigation team of the district administration had blamed the man for the death.
"The case turned upside down when we found some missing links. A reinvestigation of the case made it possible," Tariq Ahmad said.