Friday, March 11, 2011

[ZESTCaste] No death for Manoj-Babli 'killers'

No death for Manoj-Babli 'killers'
11 Mar 2011, 1533 hrs IST, AGENCIES
The Punjab and Haryana High court has commuted death sentence of four
convicts to life imprisonment including the prime conspirator, Ganga
Raj, in the Manoj-Babli double murder case. Karnal court had
pronounced death for 5 and life sentence for 2 accused for killing
Manoj and Babli of Kaithal for marrying within the gotra.

The Manoj-Babli honour killing case was the honour killing of Indian
newly-weds Manoj Banwala and Babli in June 2007 and the successive
court case which historically convicted defendants for an honor
killing. The killing was ordered by a Khap panchayat (Khap), a
religious caste-based council among Jats, in their Karora village in
Kaithal district, Haryana.

In March 2010 a Karnal district court sentenced the five perpetrators
to be executed, the first time an Indian court had done so in an
honour killing case. The Khap head who ordered but did not take part
in the killings received a life sentence, and the driver involved in
the abduction a seven-year prison term. According to Home Minister P.
Chidambaram, the UPA-led central government was to propose an
amendment to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in response to the deaths of
Manoj and Babli, making honour killings a "distinct offense".

Manoj and Babli belonged to the Banwala gotra, a Jat community, and
were therefore considered to be siblings despite not being directly
related. As a result any union between them would be invalid and
incestuous according to the 'Dharmaśāstra', a Hindu text of conduct
and law. Nevertheless the couple went ahead with their marriage,
following which they were abducted and killed by Babli's relatives.

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