Thu Feb 1, 2007
LUCKNOW, India (Reuters) – Two young lovers were bludgeoned to death and their bodies sliced into pieces and burnt in a village in Uttar Pradesh because the community believed their relationship was incestuous, police said on Thursday.
Mahesh, 20, and Guriya, his 19-year-old girlfriend and distant cousin, had fled their village near Agra in Uttar Pradesh after realising their secret relationship had been exposed.
But their relatives managed to trace them, and dragged them before the village council early on Tuesday. The couple refused to end their relationship, and were killed and mutilated on the spot, police said.
Arranged marriages between cousins are common in India and are not usually considered incestuous.
However, young people in large parts of rural India often face dire consequences, such as losing family inheritances, if they insist on choosing their own lover instead of deferring to their family's wishes.
Police began investigating after the Mahesh's grandfather reported the crime. No arrests have been made.
Report: young couple in India killed on the orders of village council
The Associated Press February 1, 2007
NEW DELHI: Villagers in northern India beat a young couple to death and burned their dismembered remains after a local council ordered the killing, saying the pair were too closely related, a newspaper reported Thursday.
The couple — Mahesh, 20 and his girlfriend Gudia, 19 — lived in neighboring villages near Agra, 250 kilometers (155 miles) southeast of New Delhi, and fled their homes when their relationship was discovered.
Their families tracked them down and brought them back to her village, Naharra, where the council, known as a panchayat, told them to end the relationship because they were too closely related, The Hindustan Times newspaper reported.
The paper did not provide details of the relationship, but said Gudia lived with Mahesh's uncle and suggested she was Mahesh's cousin.
The council deemed the relationship to be incestuous, and when the two refused to break it off, it ordered them killed.
The couple was beaten to death by a mob Tuesday and their bodies were dismembered and set on fire, the paper reported, adding that police were investigating 12 people believed to be connected to the deaths.
Authorities were not immediately available to confirm the report.
Village councils wield great influence in rural India and marriages are usually arranged by families in keeping with local customs. Rural couples, even if they are not related, may face ostracism or even death if they choose their own partners.
Two arrested in Agra lovers' killing case
India Enews , February 02, 2007
Two people were arrested Thursday in connection with the brutal killing of two young lovers in the tourist city of Agra. Ten other accused are still at large, police said.
'Cases have been registered against 12 persons who were held directly responsible for the ghastly killing of Mahesh and Guriya, who were not only beaten to death but their bodies were chopped and set afire by their own family members,' district magistrate Sanjay Prasad told IANS over telephone from Agra.
He said: 'While we have arrested two of them, police teams have spread out to track down the others. I am sure we will nab them soon.'
Guriya was the daughter of Mahesh's maternal uncle's sister. Members of the upper-caste Rajput community, however, termed them as 'brother and sister' and hence disapproved their love affair.
According to Agra Superintendent of Police (rural) Vinay Yadav, 'even Guriya's mother Rajbala was a witness to the entire act, but she did not intervene or raise any objection to the community's decision on awarding capital punishment to her own daughter.'
'The key culprit was Rajbala's brother Yogesh Singh, with whom she had been living with her daughter Guriya ever since her husband disappeared mysteriously about a decade ago,' Yadav said.
It was Yogesh Singh who hunted down his niece Guriya and her lover Mahesh Tuesday in the latter's uncle's home in a nearby village where the two had eloped and sought refuge after their secret relationship got exposed.
Early Tuesday Yogesh Singh forcibly brought them to his village where they were charged, prosecuted and convicted, by their so-called family 'panchayat' (village court), whose members eventually bludgeoned them to death.