Indian village proud after double ‘honor killing’

Indian village proud after double ‘honor killing’

BALLA, India (Reuters) - Five armed men burst into the small room and courtyard at dawn, just as 21-year-old, 22-week pregnant, Sunita was drying her face on a towel.

They punched and kicked her stomach as she called out for her sleeping boyfriend "Jassa", 22-year-old Jasbir Singh, witnesses said. When he woke, both were dragged into waiting cars, driven away and strangled.

Their bodies, half-stripped, were laid out on the dirt outside Sunita’s father’s house for all to see, a sign that the family’s "honor" had been restored by her cold-blooded murder.

A week later, the village of Balla, just a couple of hours drive from India’s capital New Delhi, stands united behind the act, proud, defiant almost to a man.

Among the Jat caste of the conservative northern state of Haryana, it is taboo for a man and woman of the same village to marry. Although the couple were not related, they were seen in this deeply traditional society as brother and sister.

"From society’s point of view, this is a very good thing," said 62-year-old farmer Balwan Arya, sitting smoking a hookah in the shade of a tree in a square with other elders from the village council or panchayat. "We have removed the blot."

Growing economic opportunities for young people and lower castes in Haryana have made "love marriages" more common, experts say, and the violent repression of them has risen in tandem as upper caste Jat men fight to hold on to power, status and property.

Arrest these inhuman motherfuckers–the entire village if necessary–lock them up, and throw away the motherfucking key. I’d like to hear some cultural relativist try to justify this inexcusable atrocity. Go ahead: Make my day.

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Comments (10 comments)

ERS / May 20th, 2008, 2:18 pm / #1

It’s mind boggling that apparently no one in the village has the decency and sense to speak out about these dishonorable killings.

Ellen R. Sheeley, Author
“Reclaiming Honor in Jordan”

BlackSun / May 20th, 2008, 2:46 pm / #2

Ellen, you’ve certainly done more than almost anyone else to raise awareness of this issue. I hope I get the chance to read your book.

It seems like it’s less a matter of decency and more a matter of unchecked power. Even the parents of the young man are being cowed into complicity. This is a crime against the state and against humanity. As in most civilized countries, it should not require the relatives of the victim to press charges.

We somehow think India is above this because they’ve become a technology powerhouse. But none of that will help them if they don’t embrace ironclad human rights and the rule of law. Tradition be damned.

Muslims Against Sharia / May 20th, 2008, 8:12 pm / #3

The STOP HONORCIDE! campaign was launched on Mother’s Day 2008. The goal of the campaign is to prosecute honorcides to the fullest extent of the law. We want honorcide to be classified as a hate crime and we advocate for every existing hate crime legislation to be amended to include honorcide.

valhar2000 / May 26th, 2008, 10:03 am / #4

Well, yeah, Blacksun, you can complain about the treatment they received there, but imagine how much worse it would have been if they had lived in the West! They might have been looked at funny!

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