Another one – Family kills son-in-law, allows daughter to be abused

Its horrible to read of such a case, and yet how many times do you read about such cases. Earlier, I would read about honour killings in many countries, especially in the Middle East, and wonder as to how somebody could do such a thing to a fellow human being, and especially to a close relative. And then I learned of such incidents happening in our country as well, especially in the northern rural areas of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and to some extent, in Bihar. And in many of these (including the current one), the honour is supposed to be defiled when a girl and a boy fall in love, but are of the same gotra. The belief is that if they are of the same gotra or of the same village, there will be already be a blood relationship between them, and such ‘incest’ will spoil the name of the family and also of the village. And it is these concepts that drive people to sanction murder, in many cases, brutal murder.
What does society do about this ? When people read about it in the newspaper, they consider it to be something that happens in rural areas, the ‘other’ India. Well, this case of honour killing happened in a village close to Narela, which is part of Delhi, on the outside areas. The law is very clear, such relationships are perfectly legal (and if this needed any sanction, the Supreme Court had ruled that such marriages are perfectly valid, and that people have a right to love and marry whom they choose), and the police and government institutions are supposed to protect the rights of these individuals. But how often do you see such a thing happening ?

The Union Home minister, Mr. Chidambaram once waxed eloquent on how such crimes sickened him, and yet, there are really no measures taken to prevent this. One cannot but help and read politics into this – these crimes are apparently agreed to by society, and in many cases, sanctioned by ‘khap panchayats’, which are caste panchayats, but not legally sanctioned bodies. However, since they would command control over voters in their regions, politicians will not really take measures to offend them. Read the linked article, and you will see how the instruments of power have failed the unhappy couple (link to article):

It would have been a familiar ending to a familiar story. Three years after a young couple fled their village in Haryana from families opposed to the “same-gotra” union, the girl’s family allegedly killed the 22-year-old man and locked up their daughter to be repeatedly raped by her relatives and their friends. She would have been killed too, say cops, but the gritty 21-year-old escaped from her captors and approached the police, turning in her father and other family members.
A case of kidnapping was lodged against Virender by the Sonepat police and he was arrested and sent to jail. In January 2007, even as Virender was in jail, Shruti was forcibly married to Jaipal, from Teli Khera village near Jind in Haryana. Jaipal began to abuse her when he came to know of her past and Shruti lodged a case with the Jind police. But no action was taken and a desperate Shruti contacted Virender who was out on bail.

The police and local Government authorities refused to help them, and it was only when the cases made their way through court, that they were saved (but ultimately to no avail).

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