Rohtak: On Wednesday evening, a village in Haryana looked on as a girl was lynched by her family, and a boy beheaded. Hours ago, they had returned to the village, thinking that their families would finally allow them to marry.
The girl's parents and uncle have been arrested and her brother is missing since the crime, a shocking example of medieval-style killings in the name of 'family honour' in Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda's hometown, Rohtak, and in a village just 80 km from the capital.
Nidhi Barak, 20, and Dharmender Barak, 22, eloped and went to neighbouring Delhi on Tuesday, since their families back in the Gharnavati village did not approve of their relationship. Nidhi was a student of fine arts, while Dharmender was pursuing a technical course.
Nidhi's parents allegedly persuaded her to come back, promising not to harm the young lovers.
The police say what followed was hours of torture for the couple at Nidhi's home, ending with their death. The girl was beaten to death in full public view. The boy was brutally beaten and his arms and legs broken, before he was beheaded. His headless body was allegedly dumped at a public square in the village.
The family of the girl was allegedly caught in the act of cremating her, when a police team arrived. They had been alerted by a villager. The police then took the girl's half-burnt body and the boy's remains for a post-mortem.
Police say relatives of both the girl and the boy are on the run. Murders like these are chillingly common in villages of Haryana dominated by the diktats of lawless 'Khap panchayats' who forbid marriages within the same village or same caste.
The Haryana Human Rights Commission has taken note of the horrific killings and asked for a report from the police.