Honor Killing: Indian Man Hacked to Death for Marrying Higher Caste Woman

India has long witnessed so-called honour killings, where couples are targeted because their families or communities disapprove of their relationships over caste or religion

An Indian family hacked to death a 22-year-old man after he married their higher-caste daughter.

Sankar belonged to the Dalit caste, the lowest of the four caste in India. These people generally work in butchering or trash removal. His bride Kausalya, 19, belongs to the Thevar caste, which means aristocrat, that believe they once belonged to South India’s dynasties.

Three men attacked the couple “on a crowded street in Tamil Nadu state.” Doctors noted that Sankar received “multiple injuries, including a deep sickle gash on his neck.” He died before he reached the hospital.

Kausalya survived the brutal attack.

“Kausalya also received severe injuries on the head. She is out of danger now,” said one official.

They met at their engineering school near Pollachi. The couple married eight months ago.

“Sankar was a final year student and Kausalya was in second year when they got married last year,” said an officer. “She comes from the Thevar community (and) her parents were opposed to the wedding. Kausalya had filed a complaint at the local police station against her father a few weeks ago, stating that he had been threatening them and insisting that she return home.”

Last week, brothers burned their sister Rama Kunwar alive after she married a man in a different social class. Kunwar belongs to the Rajput caste, which means “son of a king.” They believe their descendants come from the “ruling Hindu warrior classes of North India.” Her husband belongs to the Brahman caste, which specializes in teaching.

“She thought that her parents would now accept her but as soon as her brothers came to know that she was in the village, they rushed to that house and dragged her out,” explained Brijran Singh, a senior administrative officer of Dungarpur district. “She cried for help but no one came to rescue her. They also conducted the funeral on the same night to destroy evidence.”

In January, a family killed their daughter and son-in-law after they married without the family’s permission. Five masked men hacked the couple to death with knives and axes in the middle of the night.

Last May, a 30-year-old man and 16-year-old girl eloped without her family’s permission. From NDTV:

A 30-year-old man and the girl, 16, were allegedly dragged to a square by 20 of the girl’s relatives and thrashed publicly before being killed. Others in the village allegedly watched and chose not to stop them. No one called the police either; the incident was reported by a neighbouring village.

The man was allegedly married and a father of three children, and used to come to the village frequently to visit his in-laws. That is how he had reportedly met the teenager.

The relatives lynched and burned the couple alive.

India’s Supreme Court ruled that courts can sentence those responsible for honor killings to death. They demanded local governments “stamp out” the honor killings and warned officials they will prosecute anyone “who fail to deal with the practice.”