India: Parents held for 'honour killing' of Delhi woman

Bhawna Yadav, Image copyright other
Image caption Bhawna Yadav married against her family's wishes, police say

Police in the Indian capital, Delhi, have arrested the parents of a woman who they say was killed for marrying a man against her family's wishes.

Bhawna Yadav was allegedly strangled and later cremated without her family informing the police.

The woman's parents are yet to comment, but police say they have confessed.

The case has shocked many because even though "honour crimes" are common in India, they rarely involve middle-class educated families in big cities.

Bhawna Yadav, 21, was allegedly killed by her parents in their apartment in Delhi early on Monday, and then cremated at the family's native village in Alwar in Rajasthan, police said.

Last week, she married Abhishek Seth, 24, against her parent's wishes, police said.

Mr Seth works as a computer programmer at the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's House), while she was a university student.

They belonged to different castes and met at a party, reports say.

Mr Seth's mother told The Indian Express newspaper that the two families met on 14 November after her son came home with his newly married bride.

Bharati Seth said Ms Yadav's parents were angry and that she tried to "reason with them that the couple had got their marriage registered in court".

"Since both were adults, they had a right to do so," she added.

Reports said Ms Yadav's parents requested that she should be sent back home so they could organise a wedding with "proper ceremonies", and told Mr Seth to take back his bride on 16 November.

Police said when Ms Yadav returned home, her parents allegedly told her that they had got her "engaged" to another man.

Next morning, Mr Seth's family received a call from a relative of Ms Yadav informing them that she had died.

"There was a fight between the parents and the daughter after which they strangled her. They initially told us that their daughter's death was caused by a snake bite, but when we probed further, they confessed to the crime," senior Delhi police official Suman Goyal told BBC Hindi.

There are no statistics on the number of "honour" killings but, according to one study, hundreds of people are killed each year for falling in love or marrying against their families' wishes in a country where many still prefer arranged marriages within their own caste.

In 2011, India's Supreme Court said those involved in honour killings should face the death penalty.

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