Pregnant woman set on fire
[Representational image]Creative commons

In yet another incident of honour killing, a 21-year-old pregnant Muslim woman was burnt alive by her own family for marrying a Dalit man at a remote village in Bijapur district on Saturday night.

Banu Begum and Sayabanna Sharanappa Konnur, 24, were both residents of Gundalakanala village in Muddebihal taluk of Bijapur. The duo fell in love but kept their relationship secret, knowing their family would disapprove of it.

But their attempt was unsuccessful. When Banu's parents got to know about their relationship, on January 22, they assaulted Sayabanna.

"The day Banu Begum's parents found out 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 POCSO 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.

Later, the duo eloped to Goa on January 24 and by February the couple got officially married.

Later when Banu got pregnant, the couple decided to head back to the native village hoping their families would accept the marriage.

The couple went to meet their families to tell them about the pregnancy on Saturday morning "The families did not accept their marriage and a huge fight raged through the day," the Talikote DySP said.

"Banu's parents wanted her to leave Sayabanna and the boy's father was also not too pleased either. 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 had bite marks all over his body and Banu's mother pelt him with stones, the police said. By then Sayabanna managed to escape and took cover in a police station. But Banu was left with her family.

Sayabanna reached the station in a severely injured state. He narrated the event and ran back to pick up Banu, Patil said.

Pakistan honour killing
[Representational image]Reuters

"By the time he reached, the family members had set her on fire," Patil added. Also, cops reached 10 minutes late as they couldn't locate Banu's address.

Although Sayabanna kept screaming for help, it was too late and his wife was already in flames. He suffered minor injuries while trying to douse the fire.

"Based on Sayabanna's account, none of Banu's neighbours came forward when he begged them for help. He says that they too were of the opinion that the girl had done a terrible deed and went inside their homes and locked the doors while Banu was being burnt. However, when we went to question the neighbours, they said that they did not see or hear anything and are not cooperating with the investigation," a media report quoted an officer at Talikote Police Station as saying.

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

Four other accused in the case - Banu's two elder sisters and two brothers - are absconding, he added.