Cases of so-called honor killing is on rise in India. There is no official data but according to one study, hundreds of people are killed each year in India in so-called honor killings – for falling in love or marrying against their families’ wishes. Many families still prefer arranged marriages within their own caste and religion. Most of these crimes are being committed within radical Hindu families.
Police in India’s northern Uttar Pradesh state have arrested a man who confessed to beheading his teenage daughter.
Sarvesh Kumar was arrested as he was walking toward a police station in Hardoi district on Wednesday night, carrying the severed head of his 17-year-old daughter.
“He was making his way on foot to the police station to confess what he had done,” a spokesperson for Hardoi Police said on Friday.
“He told police he had seen his daughter with a young man that he believes she was seeing, which made him angry as he was against it,” the spokesperson added.
As Kumar, a vegetable seller from Pandetara village, made the one-mile walk from his home to the police station, local passersby alerted the police, who stopped him and began to film him.
During this time, according to the police spokesperson, Kumar told authorities about his daughter’s relationship, saying he had found her alone at home, locked her in a room, and severed her head using a knife.
“Considering the situation, he was calm. He wasn’t crying or hysterical. When the policemen were speaking to him, they asked him to place his daughter’s head on the ground and to sit down, which he listened to without arguing back,” the police spokesperson said.
Kumar is currently in custody where he continues to be questioned, the spokesperson added. A list of charges will be compiled once the investigation has been completed. He will have access to a public lawyer once he has been formally charged, and he will remain in custody until the trial, police said.
Honor killing continues in India
On 14 September 2018, Pranay Perumalla was murdered in front of his wife, Amrutha, in an alleged honor killing.
Amrutha and Pranay were high school sweethearts in Miriyalaguda, a small town in the southern Indian state of Telangana. They first met at high school.
“We always liked each other. We used to talk a lot on the phone and then we fell in love,” she says with a wan smile.
Amrutha, 21, belongs to a wealthy, upper-caste family, while Pranay, who was 24, was a Dalit (formerly untouchable). In April 2016, they married despite her parents’ objections. Now five months pregnant, she finds herself saying the unimaginable.
“My father killed my husband because he did not belong to the same caste as me.”
Back in November 2014, police in the Indian capital, Delhi, arrested the parents of college student Bhawna Yadav who was allegedly killed for marrying a man against her family’s wishes.
For many Indians, marriage outside the caste is taboo. While there are no statistics, one study estimated hundreds of people are killed by their families every year for marrying against their wishes.