The family members of 19-year-old Suma B., who witnessed the murder of her husband by an armed gang of four on September 6, are alleging that the murder is an honour killing. But, the police differ saying it was the fallout of an eve-teasing row.

After a month of married happiness, Ms. Suma’s dreams were shattered when her husband, Naveen Kumar (23) of Anekal, was hacked to death even as she watched helplessly.

Suma is yet to come out of the shock. She stopped going to college fearing for her life as she is the sole eye-witness to the murder.

Married on August 6 this year against her parents’ wishes to Naveen, who is from a Dalit family, Ms. Suma now says her husband was killed at the behest of someone who was against their marriage as she is a “caste” Hindu.

The Anekal police are, however, investigating the murder on the assumption it was the consequence of eve-teasing that went awry or due to old rivalry.

Naveen Kumar’s sister Rani told The Hindu, “The inter-caste marriage angered some people around Anekal who wanted to avenge it.”

At the time of the murder, Ms. Suma had secured admission at the SFS College in Anekal to pursue her B.Sc. Naveen, the youngest in his family, had discontinued his education and had decided to work to support Suma’s education, said Ms. Rani.

On September 6, Naveen was on his way to Jigani to meet his cousin to ask about a job. Accompanied by Ms. Suma, Naveen was riding a two-wheeler when the four-member gang confronted him and passed lewd comments on his wife.

Naveen objected and this led to a heated argument. The four pulled out swords to attack him. Naveen attempted to flee with Suma in tow. He did not notice a speeding car and got hit. The four who were chasing them got hold of the injured Naveen and hacked him to death. They ignored Suma’s hysterical plea to let her husband go.

Naveen was rushed to a hospital with the help of some passers-by, but to no avail. Ms. Suma collapsed and was admitted to hospital.

Ms. Suma now lives with Naveen’s mother and sister.

“We meet the police every day but they say they are yet to arrest the accused,” said Ms. Rani, a postgraduate in social work.

Police’s take

Anekal Circle inspector Kishore Kumar denied the version of honour killing stating that the murder happened due to a trivial reason. “We have already arrested one of the accused and are on the look out for the other three. The accused are habitual offenders involved in other cases,” he said.

Superintendent of Police D. Prakash reiterated it was not an honour killing but due to an old rivalry.

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