In the latest incident of the so-called “honor killings" plaguing India, the parents of a 20-year-old woman are under arrest, accused of beating and killing her then burning her body, as well as torturing and beheading her 23-year-old boyfriend then dumping his corpse in front of his house.
The young couple’s crime? Eloping to get married against the wishes of the woman’s family.
In full view of a village full of onlookers who did nothing to intervene, the parents, brother and uncle of Nidhi Barak tracked her down to the village of Gharnavathi in the Rohtak district of the Indian state of Haryana Wednesday evening after she went missing for three days with her fiancee, Dharmendra Barak.
Villagers who witnesses the brutal slayings told a BBC reporter who arrived on the scene shortly after the grotesque murders had taken place, that the family had no choice other than to kill the couple.
Police arrived while the parents (pictured, in custody) were in the process of cremating their daughter. They tortured the couple for hours before killing them, India’s NDTV reports.
While no statistics are kept on the number of “honor killings” -- murders committed against family members who engage in romantic or sexual relationships and similar behavior without parental approval -- the numbers of victims may run into the hundreds each year, the BBC reports.
Often, the killings are approved or even explicitly ordered by local caste-councils known as “khaps.”
BBC reporter Zubair Ahmed reached the village just before the family cremated the woman’s body.
“Some of those attending the woman's cremation said they had had to kill the two to teach others a lesson," he reported. "We cannot allow marriage in the same community, they said. The girl and the boy, who both belonged to the Jat community, had been in love for two years.”
SOURCES: BBC News, The Hindu, NDTV, International Business Times