honour killing
[Representational Image] A Dalit couple was allegedly killed by a shopkeeper with an axe on Thursday following an argument over Rs. 15 for a packet of biscuits in the Mainpuri district of Uttar Pradesh. Picture: Police look at the bodies of Sunita Devi (bottom L), 21, and her partner Jasbir Singh, 22, after they were killed by villagers in an "honour killing" in Ballah village in the northern Indian state of Haryana May 9, 2008.Reuters

A 16-year-old Dalit boy was killed in Navi Mumbai on Tuesday night by family members of a 17-year-old upper caste girl with whom he had an affair.

The police have arrested seven people and also detained the girl.

Around 20-25 people, including the girl's family members, severely beat up the boy with iron rods on Tuesday night at Navi Mumbai's Dharave village. The girl's parents did not approve of the relationship. The boy was taken to a local hospital where the doctors declared him dead, the police said.

Seven people have been arrested - the girl's brothers, Sagar Naik and Sajesh Naik, parents Rajendra Naik and Malti Naik, the brothers' friends Ashish Thakur and Durgesh Patil, and an autorickshaw driver, Sameer Shaikh.

A case has been registered against them under relevant IPC sections for murder, kidnapping, rioting and criminal intimidation. The police has also booked them under the Atrocities Act since the boy was a Dalit.

The boy has been identified as Swapnil Sonawane, a resident of Thane district. He was the son of a clerk who worked in the State Bank of India. The boy had just passed his SSC exams and joined junior college according to the Times of India.

Members of the Republican Party of India took out a rally till the Nerul Police Station on Wednesday evening demanding action against police officers who refused to file a complaint by the boy's parents.

The boy's parents had gone to the police station and told duty officer Mane that their son had been kidnapped from near their house by the girl's brother and threatened. But the officer did not register their complaint.

Two officers - Yogesh Mane and Sonali Rajguru – have been suspended by the Navi Mumbai Police for dereliction of duty as Sonawane's family had previously complained of intimidation by the girl's family. But they refused to register the complaint.

Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale has said that the officers, if found responsible for lapses, will face action.

The police produced the arrested people at Vashi court on Wednesday. They have been sent to police custody till July 25. The girl has been sent to a remand home located in Bhiwandi.

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