Within 24 hours of the International Women’s Day, on which there was much talk of freedom of choice, women’s empowerment, safety and security, a 20-year-old woman was hacked with an axe by her brother in a shocking incident of honour killing in a village in Bahraich district of eastern UP on Saturday. Her only fault was that she had chosen to marry a man much older to her, and had declared her intentions to her entire family and relatives.
The girl’s brother then walked into the local ‘thana’ with her severed head and surrendered before the police telling them the entire story.
The events unfolded in Tajpur Gubraha village under the Ranipur police station where a meeting of family and close relatives was being held in the house of one Jhabbar regarding the marriage of his daughter Mahroon. She, however, revolted against the family and declared that she would marry a close family friend from Barabanki district despite the fact that he was 55 years old.
The entire family objected to her decision and an argument broke out. In the heat of the moment, Mahroon’s brother Nanke (24) picked up an axe and chopped off her head.
Nanke then went to the Ranipur police station with the severed head and surrendered.
Bahraich Superintendent of Police Vinay Kumar Yadav, however, said this was not a case of honour killing but the result of a family dispute over the matter of Mahroon’s marriage.
The village pradhan Shiv Kumar Vishwakarma told DNA that the entire village knew about Mahroon’s involvement with the middle-aged man from Barabanki. He said the man was quite well off, and had even visited the village the day before the incident to ask for Mahroon’s hand in marriage. He left after the family turned down his offer.
The incident of honour killing in east Uttar Pradesh, a senior police official here said, was a rarity as such cases were always reported from western UP where the ‘khap panchayats’ or “kangaroo courts” passed decrees for the killing of innocent men and women only because they had eloped or consummated a love marriage against the wishes of the family.
In January this year, the Meerut police arrested a father for killing his daughter. The girl Preeti (22) was found dead under mysterious circumstances. She was found with her face immersed in a bath tub, and her father Bhim Singh, an engineer with ONGC, had told the police that she had died due to drowning. However, Preeti’s elder sister Neha told the police that her father had killed Preeti as he was against her affair with a boy named Saqib.