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5 get death in Karnal honour killing case

March 30, 2010 15:57 IST

A Haryana court sentenced five of the seven convicts in the Karnal honor killing case to death, while one of them has been sentenced to life imprisonment and the seventh convict, accused of abduction, has been sentenced to seven years in jail.

In a landmark judgment, the court has also ordered action against the police officers, who had delayed the case.

A young couple from Kaithal district in Haryana had been brutally killed in 2007 on the diktats of a self-styled community panchayat for marrying in the same sub-caste.

The court has also awarded a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the boy's 55-year-old mother Chanderpati, who had filed the case.

The prosecution had maintained that it was a "rarest of the rare case" and sought a capital punishment to the accused while the defence claimed there is insufficient evidence against them.

On Thursday, the court had held six persons guilty of murdering a couple of the same 'gotra' (sub-caste) in 2007.

It was the first instance in Haryana where an affected family moved court against honour killing after a 'khap panchayat' or caste-based council ruled against a couple's marriage. In this case, the boy's family approached the court.

Manoj (23) and Babli (19), who hailed from Karora village in Kaithal district, got married on May 18, 2007, against the wishes of the khap panchayat and the girl's family as the two belonged to the same 'gotra'.

The Khap panchayat had asked them to dissolve the marriage as people of same gotra are considered as siblings.

Apprehending threat to their lives, the couple had also approached the police, which produced them before a Kaithal court on June 15, 2007.

However, on the same day they were kidnapped at Nilokheri allegedly by the girl's family as they were returning after a court appearance at Kaithal. An FIR regarding the kidnapping was registered at the Bhutana police station on June 20.

The incensed family members and villagers announced their social boycott and their bodies were found in a canal on June 23. The hands and legs of the couple had been tied and their bodies had been badly mutilated.

The postmortem indicated that Babli had been poisoned while Manoj was strangulated to death.

According to the police, the girl's relatives had dragged the couple out from a Karnal-bound bus and murdered them before dumping their bodies in the canal.

The trial in the case continued for 33 months and 41 witnesses deposed in the case during 50 hearings.
The Rediff News Bureau