Karnataka : Pregnant Woman Burnt Alive Over Inter-religious Marriage

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On the night of June 3, a 21-year old pregnant Muslim woman, Banu Begum was allegedly burnt alive in an insipid village of Karnataka’s Bijapur district for marrying a Dalit man.

Indian Express Image

A recent report of Al Jazeera says that, India had registered an almost 800% increase in the number of honour killings last year. It is more than evident that there is indeed no “honour” in such brutal acts. These sort of incidents mostly take place in rural areas and in most cases, victim is the woman.

Source says, Banu Begum and Sayabanna Sharanappa Konnur, 24, eloped to Goa in January, they got married there and had their marriage registered. After Banu got pregnant, the couple plan to return to the village hoping their parents would accept the marriage. As per plan they return home with the hopes.

But,  According to source, families did not accept their marriage and had multiple fight through the day,” Talikote Deputy SP, PK Patil was quoted as saying by The News Minute.

As boy was form another community, “Banu’s parents wasn’t ready to accept their marriage and wanted her to leave Sayabanna, and the boy’s father was also not too pleased with the match. They forced the couple to give up their relationship On Saturday night, when the couple refused the families’ demands, then Sayabanna’s father, along with Banu’s mother, brother and sister brutally assaulted him,” he added.

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Sayabanna, who escaped to the police station to file a complaint, returned to see his wife set on fire. She had also been stabbed multiple times.

The Question raises for society when None of Sayabanna’s neighbours came forward to help him. He claimed they went home and locked their doors after Banu was set on fire, believing the girl had done a ‘terrible deed’.

Banu’s mother, brother, sister and father-in-law were arrested on the charges of murder and assault on Sunday. Four others accused in the case, including Banu’s two elder sisters and two brothers, are absconding.

It is disheartening to see that such instances still prevail in 2017. It is hard to believe that this is the same India whose scientists at ISRO are setting new benchmarks almost every month. But this is hard hitting reality. Our ideological progress is mostly ignored and more so, the conservative and hateful feelings are rather instigated for political reasons. In such conditions, cases like mob lynching and honour killing are bound to rise.

One can logically sum it up by only saying that marriage is a commitment between two individuals, not a contract to match up the societal norms of families. We must not fear in challenging bigotry if we want an ideological progress, if we want to stand as a united country which truly thrives for progress, where we understand that progress is not like a building which grows in one direction but it is like a flower which blossoms in all directions. Where more like Banu Begum, do not exist anymore.

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