Thiruvananthapuram: A 21-year-old woman belonging to the Ezhava caste was stabbed to death allegedly by her father on Thursday in Malappuram district of north Kerala ahead of her wedding to a man from a Dalit community, police said on Friday.
According to the police, Athira had been dating Brijesh and though their family members strongly opposed their relationship, they finally came around.
Athira’s father, who was inebriated, got into an argument with her as the wedding preparations, to be held on Friday, were in full swing and attacked her. She ran into a neighbour’s house for help but he chased her and stabbed her with a kitchen knife, police said.
Athira, a lab assistant at Manjeri Medical College Hospital, suffered a deep wound on her chest and died on the spot. After the incident, the father tried to escape but locals apprehended him and handed over to the police.
Police said they had earlier brokered an agreement when both the families opposed their wedding but the couple insisted on living together. Athira’s father agreed to the wedding at the police station but started questioning the alliance when they returned home.
Her mother and two brothers were in Kozhikode city to buy new clothes at the time of the incident, said her relatives.
Many people, especially women, are murdered each year in India by family members over perceived damage to “honour” that can involve eloping, fraternising with men or any other infraction against conservative social values.
India registered 251 honour killings in 2015 against 28 in 2014, recording a big spike in murders carried out by people professing to be acting in defence of their family’s reputation, the government told Parliament in 2015. The 792% jump reflects the rigorous data collection on honour killing, which the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) started doing from January 2014. It also points to the widespread existence of the crime.