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Lovers lynched, burnt in Bihar village

Police officers inspect the spot at Ametha village, near Patna, where in a case of suspected honour killing, a couple was killed by villagers on Wednesday. Photo: Rajesh Kumar  

In a suspected case of honour killing, a minor girl and her 30-year-old lover were allegedly lynched and set afire on Wednesday morning at a village in Gaya district of Bihar.

The incident happened in the Naxal-affected Ametha village of Gaya district, some 110 km from Patna. The man, Jairam Manjhi from Kasiadih village, was already married and the girl, Parvatia Kumari, was the niece of his wife Sharda Devi. They had eloped two days ago from Ametha where Jairam lived with his wife and three children. Sharda Devi is six months pregnant with their fourth child.

Jairam used to run a small grocery shop near the community centre in Ametha. He also worked as a part-time ice-cream seller and an agricultural labourer. Jairam’s in-laws live next door to the family of Parvatia, who was studying in Class IX at a government high school in neighbouring Pater village.

Villagers and the police told The Hindu on Thursday that the couple fled the village two days ago, but were caught by the family members of the girl.

“They [girl’s family members] brought both of them to the village and without waiting for the villagers or the panchayat , took them to the eastern side of the agricultural field and lynched them. Later, they cremated the bodies outside the village,” Manoj Manjhi, a village youth, told The Hindu.

Charred remains were found near a canal on the outskirts of the village. Gaya Superintendent of Police Manu Maharaj said “prima facie it appears to be a case of honour killing.” He said the remains of the bodies would be sent for forensic test. Altogether 16 persons, including seven women, have been named as accused. Two aunts — Baby Devi and Parvati Devi — of the girl have been arrested while a search has been launched to nab the others.

At the dry agricultural field where Jairam and Parvatia were allegedly beaten to death, a wrist watch, a pink plastic tobacco case, a green hair band, a black bead-necklace and few coins were strewn on the ground.

An eerie silence enveloped Ametha village on Thursday. Talking in hushed tones, villagers insisted it was not a panchayat decision to lynch the couple, but of the family members of the girl, who were enraged over the “illicit relationship.”

Parvatia was the only child of Bhola Manjhi, who along with his wife, five brothers and their wives, is among the accused. “They committed this barbaric act and killed my son-in-law,” said Savita Manjhi, mother-in-law of Jairam. “They are now threatening to kill my son and other family members. They will kill all of us,” she cried.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 8:06:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/honour-killing-case-in-bihar/article7204783.ece

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