Friday, 14 June 2013

Why does this happen?

Lover's family burns girl to death in front of panchayat

Yes, you read it right. The item appeared in Hindustan Times today and I am reproducing it below:

A woman was brutally assaulted and her daughter burnt alive in public view, and in the presence of the village panchayat, Uttar Pradesh Police said Friday. The incident occurred at Karahkol village of Deoria, 475 km from state capital Lucknow.
Police said a girl named Manju was in love with a boy named Ranjit of the same village. The boy's family opposed the relationship, and the matter was taken to the panchayat.

At the panchayat meeting, Manju's mother pleaded that since the two loved each other, they should be allowed to marry.
Incensed by the proposal, Jai Hind, Ranjit's father, and members of his family assaulted Manju's mother Gyanwati and rained blows and kicks on her.
Manju rushed to help her mother as she was being attacked, and members of Ranjit's family doused her with kerosene and set her on fire.
Police reached the spot on being informed of the incident. By that time, Manju, who was taken to a nearby medical facility, had died of burn injuries.
Seven people have been charged with the crime, and two of them have been arrested. Policemen said the absconding five would soon be nabbed.

Questions that have been bothering me:Why didn't anyone from the panchayat or from those who had gathered, try and prevent the boy's father from burning Manju alive? Or do anything to save her? And why did they not protest when her mother was being assaulted?

Shame on the panchayat members! Their mouths, hands and feet were self tied.
They failed to prevent the murder in front of their eyes.

They probably thought by keeping quiet they would be sending a strong message to the community:
Youngsters should not fall in love. 
They should not make independent decisions about their marriage. 
How dare the girl want to marry a man of her choice! 
How dare her mother support the young girl! 
For young girls should not have a say in who they marry. The elders know better. 
It is okay for a man to beat a woman.

The boy's father and other relatives who took part in the crime must be arrested and punished. But, all members of the panchayat in whose presence the murder took place are equally responsible. There is no mention, as yet, of any panchayat member being arrested. 

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