An Indian couple was lynched and set on fire in the eastern state of Bihar in a suspected case of “honor killing” on Wednesday, according to local media reports. A case has been registered by the local police against six people, of whom one has been arrested so far.
A 36-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl reportedly eloped three days ago from a village in Bihar’s Gaya district, but were located by the girl’s family and brought back to the village of Amaitha, about 65 miles south of the state’s capital Patna. The village council had held a meeting to resolve the issue, but the girl’s family refused to settle the situation and killed the couple, BBC reported.
The bodies of the two were later cremated and an investigation into the incident is underway.
"A married man, Jairam Manjhi, had fallen in love with a girl. The girl's family killed the couple by brutally beating them and then burnt their bodies," a senior police official told BBC.
Honor killings, which are typically the result of two young people marrying without the consent of their families and often across caste barriers -- hence bringing "dishonor" on the family -- are widespread in India, among all ethnic groups and religions, but especially in rural regions of the north and northwest.
In 2011, India's Supreme Court warned that those who kill for "honor" should face death penalty.