UP’s dis-honourable dad kills daughter for loving the ‘wrong’ man

22-year-old woman killed over relationship with a man who belonged to the same caste in a crime curiously dubbed ‘honour’ killing

Honor killing

In what is believed to be the 23rdsuch case in the last 18 months in Uttar Pradesh, Harivansh Kumar brutally killed his 22-year-old daughter for allegedly having an ‘affair’ with the neighbour’s son, India TV reported.

The incident took place in Firozabad district, where Harivansh Kumar, a resident of SalempurKhutiyana village surrendered before the cops after killing his daughter. Sources say that his daughter Pooja wasin a relationship with Gajendra, a man from the same caste as her. Such relationships are frowned upon in the region where caste equations are fragile and chart the entire course of a person’s life. Kumar disapproved of the relationship and had warned her of dire consequences.

Police say matters took a turn for the worse after he saw his daughter with Gajendra on Sunday night. Kumar electrocuted his unsuspecting daughter while she was asleep and then slit her throat!

JasranaStation house officer (SHO) Girish Chandra Gautam said, “During the interrogation, the accused said that he first electrocuted the daughter and later slit her throat with a knife. The weapon used in the crime has also been recovered.”

Pooja, a post-graduate, was the youngest among five siblings and the only daughter. Her brother, Yogesh filed the murder complaint against his father.

At the time of the incident, only the victim and her father were at home. Her mother and three brothers were in Gurugram, while the fourth brother lives in another house. The autopsy report is still awaited.

Some dis-honourable statistics

According to a report by Huffington Post, so called honour-killings had grown in India by more than 796% from 2014 to 2015. While 28 murders were reported under this category in 2014, the number jumped to 251 in 2015 as per the National Crime Record Bureau statistics.

Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of honour killings with 131 incidents reported in 2015. The latest report released by NCRB of its 2017 records left out numbers on honour killings citing the data was unreliable and ‘vague’.

The lack of a separate law pertaining to honour killing means that these incidents are clubbed under murder and not investigated further. The Supreme Court in 2011 ruled that accused persons in honour killings should face the death penalty but in many cases, crimes are covered up.

Amnesty International’s Halt the Hate website recorded 621 caste-based incidents from 2015 to 2019, with 31 being related to honour killing. In the first half of 2019, 7 honour killing related incidents were reported. In June 2019, in 58 incidents of crime against women, 7 were alleged incidents of honour killing, in which 3 women were killed.

The case of Pooja, an educated young woman, just goes to show that a regressive Indian society is unwilling to respect a woman’s agency over her own life. The incident could have gone unreported had her father not surrendered. It is not just the responsibility of an individual to take steps to mitigate the menace of honour killings. It is the responsibility of the village council to ensure to elect forward-thinking, liberal members who do not stoke violence in the name of caste and community, but work to foster individuality, respect and equality in the society.


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