An Indian woman’s parents have strangled her to death after claiming she destroyed their family’s ‘prestige’ by marrying a man from a different caste, local authorities say.
The horrific death of Bhavna Yadav, a 21-year-old student from a leading New Dehli University, appears to be the latest of a series of cruel honour killings that have shocked India.
According to media report, Bhavna was strangled by her parents and uncle because she had secretly married 24-year-old Abhishek Seth in a union that undermined their family’s ‘prestige’. She knew her parents would disapprove for no reason other than the fact that he was Punjabi and of a lower caste than her family.
In some traditional environments in India strict traditions rule regulate who can marry whom – a decision normally tasked and decided by families.
Breaking these rules can bring shame to one’s family. In extreme cases, relatives turn to murder to in the belief that it will restore the honor they perceive they have lost in the eyes of their community.
When the couple informed Bhavna’s parents that they’d married, Bhavna’s parents enraged and advised her to never come back. However, after a few days they seemed to relent and invited her to come home to discuss things.
Bhavna Yadav was allegedly killed on the intervening night of November 15-16 by her father Jagmohan Yadav and mother Savitri Yadav at her house in south-west Delhi’s Dwarka North. Bhavna’s parents strangled her to death, then took her body back to their home village and attempted to burn it.
The accused were arrested on Tuesday and sent to judicial custody by a Delhi court.
Bhavna’s parents admitted to the murder and state officials are now investigating if it was an honor killing.