The National Commission for Women, a statutory body of the Indian government, is calling for a report from the police on last week’s so-called “honor killing” of a teenage Indian couple by the woman’s family. According to the Times of India, the commission took “suo motu cognizance” in the case, which means that they cognizantly made the decision to get involved in the incident, but were not required to do so.
The couple, 19-year-old Asha Saini and her lower-caste boyfriend, Yogesh Kumar, wanted to marry. Yogesh’s sister told the BBC, “he was having dinner, it was 9.30pm on Sunday when Asha’s mother came and called him. Yogesh was a driver. She said someone needed the car, and he went.” The couple were then gagged, flogged, and possibly electrocuted by members of Asha’s family. Thus far, Asha’s father, mother, uncle, and two other relatives have been arrested in connection to the murders.
Asha was forcibly engaged in May to a property dealer, according to OneIndia. Asha’s “compromising position” justified the honor killing according to one cousin who spoke with the BBC. Omprakash Saini, Asha’s uncle, told reporters after his arrest, “I’m not sorry. I would punish them again if given a chance.”
Yogesh’s family is outraged and is calling for the death penalty. “He was a very good boy,” one neighbor, Meera Devi, told the BBC. “We are very angry. We want justice.”