Narwana: The wife of a young man who was lynched by a village mob in Haryana's Jind district, on Friday deposed against her dead husband saying that he had tricked her into eloping with him and getting married. Her parents and relatives have been booked by police for the murder.
Meanwhile, the Haryana police on Friday suspended station house officer (SHO) Balwant Singh for abandoning the young man, Ved Pal, who was on Wednesday evening accompanied by a Punjab and Haryana High Court warrant officer and some policemen as he went to Singhwal village near here to bring his wife Sonia back.
The policemen left him alone when they saw a mob of villagers approaching Ved Pal. He was lynched by the mob.
GOTRA ISSUE: The 'khap' panchayat of Singhwal village had issued death sentence for Ved Pal and Sonia.
Sonia on Friday deposed before the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) here. She told magistrate Hukum Singh that Ved Pal, 21, had tricked her into eloping with him and duped her into marrying him.
The deposition came as the Haryana police failed to arrest any of her family members and people of her village who had lynched Ved Pal.
Nearly 15 policemen, including the SHO, were accompanying Ved Pal on court orders on Wednesday. The high court warrant officer, Suraj Bhan was also injured in the attack.
The 'khap' panchayat (kangaroo/village council) of Singhwal village had issued a death sentence for the couple, Ved Pal and Sonia, March this year for marrying in the same 'gotra' (clan) against the wishes of the community.
Jind district police chief Satheesh Balan told IANS, "We are trying to trace the culprits who killed the youth."
Human rights activist Ranjan Lakhanpal said in Chandigarh that the politicians and administration in Haryana had become helpless in front of the khap panchayats.
"They have been mocking at the established law of land and everyone including the government authorities and police had been mute spectators. It should change now," Lakhanpal said.
"We have not arrested anyone till now but we are interrogating villagers to ascertain the identity of the accused. We expect to arrest the culprits soon," Balan added.
The village is about 160 km from state capital Chandigarh and lies in the dominant Jat belt of the state.
Police had registered a case against the girl's parents and some unknown villagers on Thursday.
The villagers did not allow anyone to take the body of the victim till late on Wednesday night and displayed it at the village crossing.
The killing of Ved Pal came even as the administration in another Haryana district, Jhajjar, was grappling with a case of a village council (panchayat) ordering the ouster of a family of a young couple in Dharana village who also married within the same gotra.
So-called honour killings are not new in Haryana, especially in areas dominated by the Jat community.
In June 2007, the bodies of a young couple, Manoj and Babli, were recovered from a canal in Kaithal district after they were murdered and thrown into the canal by relatives of the girl.
In Karnal district last year, Jasbir Singh, 27, and his companion Sunita, who was six months pregnant, were murdered after being strangled in their village. The girl's family was opposed to their daughter, a divorcee, living with Jasbir.
The family threw the bodies of the couple outside their house to send a message to other villagers that going against the wishes of the community and family would not be tolerated.