Mothers accused in dishonour killing of 2 brides
Newlyweds Zahida, 19, and Husna, 26, were strangled when they returned home after getting married to men of their choice.
New Delhi: Two Muslim mothers in a northern Indian town have been arrested on accusations they killed their daughters for dishonouring the family by eloping with Hindu men, police said on Sunday.
Newlyweds Zahida, 19, and Husna, 26, were strangled when they returned home after getting married to men of their choice, said Anil Kumar Kusan, a police officer.
Marriages between Hindus and Muslims are not common in India and are frowned upon by both communities, although there are more instances of inter-religious marriages among the educated urban population.
Across India, many marriages are still arranged by families. But with the booming economy and more women entering the work force, such traditions are slowly giving way to love marriages.
However, centuries-old caste and community barriers still come into play, and there has been a spurt in "dishonour killings" in recent years across northern India.
Zahida and Husna were neighbours in Baghpat, a town in India`s Uttar Pradesh state, when they fell in love with two construction workers. They eloped and got married last week before returning home to make peace with their families, Kusan said.
The girls belonged to Muslim families and their mothers, both widows, were furious, Kusan said.
Initial investigations showed that the mothers helped each other to strangulate the girls.
The mothers were unrepentant saying the girls had brought shame and dishonour to their families, police said.
Earlier this week, India`s Supreme Court recommended the death penalty for perpetrators of dishonour killings, calling the practice barbaric and feudal.
Most victims of such dishonour killings were young adults who fell in love or married against their families` wishes. In some cases, village councils ordered couples killed who married inside their clan or outside their caste or religion.
While there are no official figures, an independent study found around 900 people were killed each year in India for defying their elders.