A young couple in India has been killed by their relatives in a brutal “honor killing,” after the young man and woman refused to cease their relationship despite disapproval from clan elders.
23 year-old Dharmender Barak and his 20 year-old girlfriend Nidhi escaped from their parents’ homes in Ghanavati village, only 40 miles away from Delhi. Dharmender was a computer technology student. Nidhi studied art. The couple had been together for several years during which they received warnings from their families and friends about their relationship.
Dharmender and Nidhi come from the same sub-group of a caste, which according to the village elders makes their romantic relationship equal to incest, and therefore forbidden. The couple ran away from the village in fear for their lives, but the parents of the couple called them back with promises of safety and acceptance. In the meantime, the parents had appealed to the local political administrators for permission to carry out an “honor killing” of the couple.
Shortly after Dharmender and Nidhi returned to the village, Nidhi’s father assisted by friends took the couple out into the street and beat them to death, as neighbors stood by and watched. Nidhi’s body was cremated in a nearby field, while Dharmender’s body was broken. He was subsequently beheaded and dumped outside of his family’s home.
Local police have made four arrests in the case on suspicion of first-degree murder. A deputy Superintendent of Police in the region stated that further arrests are likely as the investigation of this horrendous crime continues.
India is the site of over 1000 honor killings every year, which mainly result from breaking of the caste rules in personal relationships.
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