Indian engineer dies in honour killing

(L-R): Abdul Hakim with wife Mewish

Abdul Hakim with wife Mewish


The parents of an IT engineer who married her low caste boyfriend lured her home with the promise of a family wedding reception and then allegedly strangled her.

A 25 year old software engineer’s traditional bride’s mehendi tattoo was still fresh on her hands when her body was discovered at her family home near Hyderabad.

The death has highlighted the rising number of honour killings in India as more mixed caste-couples form relationships in defiance of their families. There are more than 1,000 ‘honour killings’ in India every year of couples who reject ‘love marriages’ to marry for love.

P Deepthi, a member of the the higher Kamma caste worked for the Indian IT firm HCL and had been seeing her boyfriend Kiran Kumar, from the lower Kapu caste, for more than two years.

Her parents had known about the relationship and had beaten her on several occasions to force her to end it. They had been planning to force her to marry a man from her own caste when she became aware of the plot and secretly married her fiancé.

When the couple and their friends arrived in Guntur in East Godavari district, her father, a wealthy landlord, urged them to rest at a local hotel while their daughter returned to their home.

Within minutes of entering their home, she was attacked and strangled and killed with her own dupatta scarf. Her friends, who had become suspicious, were waiting outside for her as she was killed inside.

K D V Prasad, a police investigator, said the father had confessed to the murder but claimed his wife had had no involvement.

“The parents challenged the girl and wanted her to annul the marriage. They threatened her and beat her up. The father pushed her on the bed and strangulated her with her scarf. The mother held her legs,” he said.

Ranjana Kumari, a leading women’s rights activist, said the problem had been a bigger issue in North India.

“We don’t see many honour killings cases coming from South India but that doesn’t mean it not happening there,” she said.


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