News Analysis |
A Muslim youth was fatally beaten and then left for dead in a drain by the family of his Hindu girlfriend here. Twenty-two-year-old Saif of Bhutto Ka Baas was in love with a girl from Rampura Basti, according to Indian media. On Wednesday evening, Saif was apparently caught with the girl when he had gone to meet her at her residence. The girl’s family started bashing up the youth.
As the assault carried on, people started gathering around the group. So the girl’s family allegedly bundled an injured Saif into a car and sped away. Then, they broke his limbs and threw him into a drain in Karninagar Industrial Area. However, some laborers saw a youth being thrown into the drain and informed the police. Police got the fatally injured Saif admitted to PBM Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Saif’s father Aslam Khan lodged a police complaint naming Bunty, Vijay Singh Parihar, Vijendra Tanwar, Shiv Maali, Raja Sunaar and Babloo Maali. Meanwhile, Saif’s kin staged a protest at the mortuary on Wednesday night, refusing to accept the body and demanding immediate arrest of the accused. On police assurance, they came round and took Saif’s body for burial. Police have managed to nab three of the accused while search was on for the others who were absconding.
The father of Ankit Saxena, Yashpal Saxena, says that the murder should not be given a communal twist and exploited to whip up trouble. Through a haze of grief at losing his only son, he pleaded for sanity.
While the act could easily be seen as a part of the “Love Jihad” campaign waged by violent Hindutva extremists, the truth may not be so clear. Love Jihad refers to the marriages between Muslim men and Hindu women. Its appeal to communal sensibilities by demonizing the matrimonial relations of Muslim men and Hindu women and thus synchronizes with the communal slogan of “Hindu Khatre mein hay” (Hindus are in danger). Hindutva fundamentalists use the threat of Love Jihad as one of the many perceived perils to the Indian Hindu community.
On the reason why this may not be a case of Love Jihad is because of the reason being more about family than being ideological. The victim was allegedly killed by the girlfriends family rather than some unrelated Hindutav extremists as is the norm. This can be seen in the context of a Honor Killing rather than a “Love Jihad” killing.
In fact this case reminds many of a similar tragedy that happened in February. In a brazen incident of ‘honour’ killing, a 23-year-old man was killed in front of his parents allegedly by family members of his girlfriend in west Delhi on February 2. The man, identified as Ankit Saxena was stabbed and had his throat slit using a sharp weapon.
The incident took place when Saxena, a photographer by profession, was on his way to meet his girlfriend. He was caught by her family in Raghubir Nagar and a verbal spat followed. Saxena was then kicked and punched by the girl’s father and uncle before the former stabbed him and slit his throat.
However, many Indians across the board praised the father of the deceased for his actions following the murder. The father of Ankit Saxena, Yashpal Saxena, says that the murder should not be given a communal twist and exploited to whip up trouble. Through a haze of grief at losing his only son, he pleaded for sanity.
As the assault carried on, people started gathering around the group. So the girl’s family allegedly bundled an injured Saif into a car and sped away. Then, they broke his limbs and threw him into a drain in Karninagar Industrial Area.
“I don’t want any inflammatory statements. I feel very saddened by what happened, but I don’t want anyone to create a hostile environment against Muslims. I have nothing against any religion,” Mr Saxena told Indian media outlets. “Yes, those who killed my son were Muslim…but every Muslim can’t be branded for this. Don’t use me to spread communal tension, don’t drag me into it…I appeal to everyone not to link this to religion and vitiate the atmosphere.”
Honor killings have been reported in northern regions of India, mainly in the Indian states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, as a result of people marrying without their family’s acceptance, and sometimes for marrying outside their caste or religion. About 500 people – mostly women – have died in so-called “honor killings” in India since 2014, according to government data, often carried out by family members who believe the relationship has brought “shame” on their community.
But activists say the crime is vastly under-reported, and that many killings are covered up to look like a suicide.