Pregnant Muslim Woman burnt alive by her own family for marrying Dalit Man

Every year hundreds of innocent lives are lost due to honor killings in India. Another inhumane incident of honor killing has come to light in Bijapur district, Karnataka. A 21 year old Muslim woman was burnt alive by her family members for marrying a Dalit man. Banu Begum and 24 year old Sayabanna Sharanappa Konnur, had fallen in love and kept their relationship a secret.

On January 22 this year, Banu’s family had brutally assaulted Sayabanna after learning of their relationship. “The day Banu Begum’s parents found about their relationship, her parents had dragged her to the police station. They had created a huge ruckus there and had demanded that the police file a POSCO case against Sayabanna, while claiming that their daughter was a minor. They also filed a written complaint in this regard,” said Talikote DySP, PK Patil.

Banu and Sayabanna eloped to Goa after the incident on January 24. They decided to get married there and in February they got their marriage registered. After Banu got pregnant, the couple decided to return to Gundakanala, assuming that the families would accept the marriage. When they returned to meet their families on Saturday, the families did not accept their marriage and a huge fight raged through the day, Talikote DySP said.

“Banu’s parents wanted her to leave Sayabanna, and the boy’s father was also not too pleased with the match. On Saturday night, when the couple refused to give in to their families’ demands, Sayabanna’s father, along with Banu’s mother, brother and sister brutally assaulted him,” Patil added.

Sayabanna was bitten all over his body and Banu’s mother had pelted stones at him, the police said.

“Sayabanna arrived at the station and was severely injured. He narrated the series of events and he ran back to pick up Banu,” Patil claimed.

“But by the time he reached, the family members had set her on fire,” Patil said. He claimed that two police officers reached the spot 10 minutes after Sayabanna did, as it took them some time to find the place.

Sayabanna meanwhile screamed for help but his wife had already died. In the process of dousing the flames off Banu’s body, he too sustained some minor burns. Sayabanna told the police that none of Banu’s neighbors came forward when he was begging for help. The Talikote police said that the neighbors denied seeing or hearing anything. The Talikote police also said that Banu’s neighbors were not cooperating with the probe.

Banu’s mother, brother, sister and father-in-law were arrested on Sunday. Talikote DySP Patil said – “They have been booked for murder and assault. Banu had been stabbed multiple times before being set on fire.

Patil added that Banu’s two elder sisters and two elder brothers who were wanted in the case are absconding.

Credit: Theja Ram


Featured image credit: Financial express

Tony Joseph