When interfaith relationships met a deadly end


B Nagaraju — a Dalit Hindu — was brutally beaten and stabbed to death in Hyderabad’s Saroornagar for allegedly marrying a woman from the Muslim community against their family’s wishes. The incident has evoked memories of other such cases in recent times

On Wednesday, a man lay dead on the ground by a busy road in Hyderabad’s Saroornagar. His face was reduced to nothing but a bloody mess after being beaten by two assailants with rods and stabbed with a knife, while his wife tried to fight them off.

The man’s crime: he belonged to a different community – he was a Dalit Hindu, the woman, a Muslim – and the couple had tied the knot against the wishes of her family.

The Hyderabad police has taken the woman’s brother and his relative into custody in connection with the murder and an interrogation is being carried out.

Also read: Hyderabad lynching: Nagaraju’s wife says she begged onlookers to save husband from her relatives

ACP P Sreedhar Reddy told News18 that the woman’s brother had been against the marriage of the couple, identified as Nagaraju and Ashrin Sulthana (aka Pallavi).

Based on preliminary investigation, a senior police official told PTI that the woman’s brother was against her getting married to a person belonging to another religion (a Hindu) and decided to “eliminate” the man.

The heinous crime has been euphemistically called ‘honour killing’. The fact is that there is no honour involved. Crimes such as these are motivated by sectarian hatred. There’s no ‘killing’ here either, not in the legal sense of homicide not amounting to murder. This is murder, plain and simple, motivated and planned.

Ravi Nimbargi murder in 2021

In October 2021, a Hindu man was bludgeoned to death and his body was thrown into a well in an agriculture field in Karnataka’s Vijayapura.

The 34-year-old, who was identified as Ravi Nimbargi, was a victim of a hate crime over an interfaith relationship.

Police investigations into the murder revealed that Nimbargi, a Hindu, had fallen in love with a Muslim woman and wanted to marry her, despite the families not agreeing.

The police told The Print following his death that he was speaking to the woman on the phone when he was waylaid by her kin, who allegedly began assaulting him. Police said that while on the phone, Ravi told her that her brothers and uncle were attacking him before the phone line snapped.

Authorities later arrested the girl’s brother and uncle on charges of murder, criminal conspiracy and destroying evidence.

Dablu Singh stabbed to death

Just two kilometres away from where Ankit Saxena was killed by his girlfriend’s family in 2018, another man was killed by the maternal uncle and brother of his Muslim girlfriend.

Dablu Singh, 21, was stabbed to death in in west Delhi’s Raghubir Nagar on 30 November 2021.

While the police ruled out a communal angle in the case, his mother, Shobhawati told Times of India that Dablu was in a relationship with a Muslim girl, but had broken it off, as her family had carted her off to her village.

“The woman’s family was unhappy with my son. One of the relatives had even threatened Dablu of dire consequences,” she had told Times of India.

The family thought the matter was resolved. However, that wasn’t the case. A few days when Dablu was out and crossed the girl’s house, he was caught by some men and was stabbed.

On 1 December, the police then arrested Laadla alias Farhan and her maternal uncle Shah Alam and were put behind bars.

Rahul Rajput’s case

On 7 October 2020, 18-year-old Rahul Rajput was thrashed to death in northwest Delhi by at least 5 assailants — Mohammad Afroz, Mohammad Raj and 3 others — for being in love with a Muslim girl.

The girl’s brother, one amongst the five assailants, fiercely opposed their interfaith relationship and sought to teach a lesson to Rajput for his continuing relationship with the Muslim girl in defiance of his strong disapproval.

Reports said that the group of five rained down incessant blows on him and mercilessly flogged him. Somehow, he escaped the mob and was then rushed to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to the fatal injuries in his abdomen while undergoing treatment.

Lakshmipathy murder of 2020

Twenty-four-year-old K Lakshmipathi, a Hindu, who had eloped with a Muslim woman, was killed by the woman’s father and brother.

The incident emerged from Islampura area near Basavanahalli in Kartanatka’s Bengaluru district.

Investigations revealed that on the pretext of discussing their marriage, the father of the girl took Lakshmipathi to a secluded place and strangled him with the help of his son and others.

Sanjay Kumar killed in Haryana

The murder of Sanjay Kumar in Haryana grabbed headlines after it emerged that it was his Muslim ex-wife’s family had killed him.

What was particularly horrifying was that the woman’s family, had already forced the couple to split up.

It seemed that a divorce wasn’t enough and that the girl’s family keen on taking revenge, killed him.

Ankit Saxena killing in 2018

On 1 February 2018, New Delhi woke to the news of a 23-year-old professional photographer, Ankit Saxena, being stabbed to death by the family of his 20-year-old Muslim girlfriend in west Delhi’s Khyala area.

According to The Times of India, he “was kicked and punched repeatedly by the girl’s father and uncle before the former stabbed him and slit his throat using a chopper and knife while her two other relatives held his arms”.

The girl, Shehzadi, later came forward and said that her kin was responsible for Ankit’s honour killing, and that she was terrified of her family. “I was going to meet him when I got to know. My family has killed him. My uncle has done this,” she was quoted as saying, adding that they were about to get married.

The act was condemned by all, including Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who ensured that justice would be delivered in the case.

Sonu and Dhanishta murder of 2014

Twenty-year-old Sonu Kumar, a Jatav Dalit, and 18-year-old Dhanishta, a Rangadh Muslim, were killed in 2018 when the two, who were neighbours in Hapur village of Uttar Pradesh, expressed their desire to marry.

Reports said that the couple was slain by the brothers of the woman.

Times of India reports that as Sonu stepped out of his house, he was hacked to death, allegedly by Dhanishta’s brothers Talib, Asif and Tasleem. Two friends of the brothers, Ameer and Zafroo, also joined the attack.

Hearing the commotion, Dhanishta rushed out. Her brothers then killed her too.

With inputs from agencies

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Written by Firstpost

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