In another case which highlights the problem of honour killings in India, an Andhra Pradesh man hammered his 20-year old daughter to death on June 30 after she had expressed her desire to marry her classmate.
The incident took place a day after the victim’s birthday at Totaravulapadu village of Chandarlapadu mandal in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh when the father found her talking over the phone with her lover. The victim, identified as one, Chandrika, pursuing B. Pharmacy at Gudlavalleru College, was reportedly in love with one of her classmate.
Plans To Marry Classmate
According to the Times Of India, Nandigama DSP, T Radesh Murali said that after celebrating her birthday on June 29, Chandrika told her parents about her plans to marry her lover. However, her parents did not approve of the marriage. The father, Kotaiah, warned her against speaking with her classmate and said that he would fix her wedding.
Reportedly, when Kotaiah returned home after some time, he found the daughter talking to her lover over the phone and thought that she was planning to elope. The enraged father then grabbed a wooden stick which is used as an axe handle and repeatedly hit her on the head until she died. Even though the mother tried to rescue Chandrika, she succumbed to her injuries.
Police Booked The Father
The local police then rushed to the spot and booked Kotaiah under charges of murder, after the victim’s grandfather made representations. However, the police have denied this to be a case of honour killing. According to police officers quoted by The News Minute, “As per our initial findings, both of them seem to belong to the same community. The accused was unhappy that he could not choose his daughter’s bridegroom and this led to the crime. However, we are still investigating all angles”.
The victim’s body has been sent for post-mortem, and a case has been registered under Section 302(A) (Punishment for murder) and 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). While the investigations are still going on, the police will try to get statements from the boy’s family and Chandrika’s mother as well.
The Logical Indian Take
A father killed his daughter just because she wished to marry her classmate, and this is not an isolated incident. Fathers, brothers and other male relatives kill their flesh and blood for flouting their conservative values. Marriage, eloping, or even fraternizing with the perceived “other” community or gender has led to many lives cut brutally short. Women are the main victims as they are seen not as competent adults with their rights and life choices but merely as a commodity, a token which is a reflection of the “honour” of the family or community. There is absolutely and irrefutably no honour in this heinous crime.
South Asia and the Indian subcontinent, in particular, have the highest prevalence of honour killings. It is time we revisit the Indian Penal Code and form a comprehensive and exhaustive set of laws and guidelines which deal exclusively with this issue. Currently, these crimes come under various IPC depending on the severity of the crime. Importantly, in most of these cases, police action after the fact is more visible, and couple and couples asking for protection are often left in danger, waiting for some calamity to befall.