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Another couple butchered
Girl’s maternal uncles booked on murder charge

Sushil Manav
Tribune News Service

Tohana (Fatehabad), July 4
In what appears to be yet another case of honour killing, a teenaged couple was found dead at the village school ground in Samain on Sunday.

The boy had died of a head injury, revealed the post-mortem report. The girl’s body has been sent to the PGIMS, Rohtak, for autopsy. The police has registered a case of murder against several persons, including two maternal uncles of the victim Reena (16), on the complaint of Prem, father of the boy, Sham Mohammad, alias Gogi (18).

“A case of murder has been registered against Ram Mehar and Vijender, maternal uncles of the girl, besides some other villagers,” said Jagwant Singh Ahlawat, SP, Fatehabad.Reena, whose parents live in Barsikri village of Kaithal, lived with her maternal grandfather’s family in Samain. She had eloped with Gogi, a Muslim youth of the village, sometime back. The two studied together in the school where their bodies were found today.

A panchayat of village elders had ordered the boy to keep away from the village after the couple was found at the nearby Jamalpur railway station a few days after the elopement.Gogi’s family, bowing befpore the panchayat edict, had sent the boy for education to a madrasa in Qadian town of Punjab. He had come to see his family during his summer vacations 15 days back.

Reena’s family had discontinued her studies after the incident.

Prem told the police that his son was sleeping outside his house when at 11 pm he received a call on his mobile. He left the house soon after and did not return. This morning, some villagers spotted the bodies in the school ground and informed him of the incident.

There was a deep injury on the boy’s head. One of his eyes had ruptured and an arm fractured.

No apparent injury mark was found on the body of the girl. An empty pack of celphos, used to kill pests, was found near the bodies that lay about 5 ft from each other.

Surprisingly, none of the bodies had footwear. No shoes or slippers were found at the site.





At 1,000 cases a year, India matches Pak in menace
R Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, July 4
As many as 1,000 boys and girls fall prey to honour killings every year in India, with Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh alone accounting for 900, according to a research paper presented at an international conference in London last week.

At this rate, the incidence of such killings in India is as high as the prevalence rate in Pakistan, which tops the global list of such crimes, the paper prepared by two Chandigarh-based experts said.

The crime is committed not only in the Muslim community but also among Sikhs and Hindus, they said.

In order to check this trend, there is an urgent for enacting laws providing for deterrent punishment to the perpetrators, advocates Anil Malhotra and his brother Ranjit Malhotra said. Attending a three-day International Conference on Child Abduction, Relocation and Forced Marriages organised by the London Metropolitan University, they said in the joint paper: “Forced marriages and honour killings are often intertwined. Marriage can be forced to save honour, and women can be murdered for rejecting a forced marriage and marrying partners of their own choice. In traditional societies, honour killings are basically justified as a sanction for dishonourable behaviour.”

They welcomed the government’s move to have a new law for dealing with the situation and the Supreme Court’s notice to the Centre following a PIL filed on the issue.

The Malhotra brothers were the only representatives from India at the Conference attended by International Family Law Experts from all over the world.

Prominent among those who attended the conference were Professor William Duncan, Deputy Secretary-General, Hague Conference on Private International Law, Professor Maarit Jantera-Jareborg, Professor of Private International Law with International Civil Procedure, Uppsala University, Sweden, Dr Judy Cashmore, Associate Professor of Law, University of Sydney, Professor Linda Silberman, Martin Lipton Professor of Law, New York University and Justice Peter Boshier, Principal Family Court Judge, New Zealand.

Children’s rights were still not valued high in India, which was manifest in the widespread child prostitution, child labour and the lack of children’s education, Ranjit said.

Comparing the legal framework adopted by various countries, he said a coordinated approach was necessary to effectively combat the problem of forced marriages, he said.

Tradition was largely responsible for forced marriages in India as parents felt it was their duty to get their children married. Accepting the free choice of young men and women of their life partner was still the exception, not the rule, the experts contended.



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