In India, an “honor killing” is the homicide of a family member or social group by other members due to the perpetrator’s belief that the victim has brought shame or dishonor upon the family or community. In most cases, the reason for the killing is the victim refused to enter an arranged marriage or was in a relationship that was forbidden.
The Station House Officer involved in the case, Ram Naresh said, “The girl had developed close relations with a boy, aged around 18, when she had gone to her sister-in-law’s house during Raksha Bandhan this year. Her brother came to know of her pregnancy some time ago and he and the girl’s mother were upset with her. The father was, however, not informed about the situation.”
According to the Indian Express, a friend of the victim let the girl use her bike and phone on the day of the murder. Naresh concluded, “On December 22, she had given her mobile phone to the victim, and told her that she would pick it up while returning home. The girl, however, went out with the phone without telling anyone.
In the evening, her friend found her mobile phone was missing and went looking for it. The girl kept hiding near her house with the mobile phone. Her mother and brother assured her friend that they would trace her and get the phone back.” Sadly, the girl never returned and her mother and brother have been arrested. They allegedly caught her and strangled her to death; and afterwards they threw her body in the bushes near their house to deflect attention.
The woman, Bhavna Yadav, was 21-years-old and eight months pregnant. She was also a student at Delhi University. Her parents strangled her to death after she married her friend, Abhishek Seth, without their permission. Her parents admitted to the murder after first claiming that their daughter died from an insect bite. Although there are no official statistics on the number of honor killings that take place in India, in 2011 India’s Supreme Court said those involved in these murders should face the death penalty.