Five get death for honour killing

First ever verdict against Khap panchayats in Haryana

Five get death for honour killing

In a landmark judgment which could act as a deterrent for the ubiquitous Talibanesque diktats of the Khap panchayats in Haryana, additional district and sessions judge Vani Gopal Sharma pronounced death sentence on five people for killing Babli (19) and Manoj (23) in June 2007.

Those awarded death sentence include a brother, two cousins and two uncles of Babli. Babli, who hailed from Karora village had eloped to marry Manoj from Kaithal in May 2007. A Khap panchayat — assembly of village elders belonging to a particular caste — pronounced death sentence on the couple for marrying within the same “gotra” (sub-caste).

In June 2007, the couple was dragged out of a Karnal-bound bus by the girl’s relatives and was brutally murdered. Their bodies were paraded in the village and then dumped in a canal.

One of the khap panchayat leaders, Ganga Ram, who was among those who took the decision to kill the couple, was awarded life sentence.
For centuries, the diktats of Khaps have been politically and socially tolerated in Haryana as part of a continuing mediaeval-era tradition, resulting in the killing of hundreds of young boys and girls who dared to elope or marry out of cast-iron caste hierarchy dictated by the Khaps.

Before the widowed mother of the victim Manoj, who pursued the case of killing of her son and his wife, decided to bring the culprits to book, none of the perpetrators of such heinous killings could ever be punished.

Defying threats to her life and offer of compromise from the convicts’ family, Chandrapati, soldiered on determined to punish the killers of her son and daughter-in-law.
In most cases of honour killings dictated by Khaps, the police found it hard to find witnesses as villagers would clam up in a conspiracy of silence leading to these cases falling flat in the courts.

However, the family was not satisfied with Khap panchayat leader, Ganga ram, getting away with life imprisonment. “We will approach the high court seeking death sentence for him,” said Seema.
DH News Service

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