Buggered Mind of Neale Sourna, The

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Lovers to the Gallows

Panchayat sends lovers to the gallows

Hemendra Chaturvedi
Agra, January 31, 2007

For every landmark judgment in India, there are several outrageous rulings by kangaroo courts in the garb of village panchayats. One such court ordered a death sentence against a couple for daring to fall in love.

Twenty-year-old Mahesh and Gudia were lynched, their bodies cut into pieces and burnt at Naharra village in Agra district late on Monday.

Mahesh and Gudia were distant relatives, but the panchayat decided that they were brother and sister and the “incestuous relationship” warranted death.

Mahesh, who belongs to Biruni village in Agra, frequently visited his uncle Yogesh in Naharra village. That is where he met Gudia, Yogesh's niece who stayed with him, and fell in love.

On Monday, Mahesh and Gudia eloped and reached Bandipur village in Hathras district but their family traced them and brought them back to Naharra village on Monday night.

A panchayat was hurriedly called where the couple was asked to end their relationship. But when they insisted on sticking it out, the panchayat passed its verdict death for lowering the dignity of the Thakur community.

A mob beat Mahesh mercilessly and sliced him to pieces. A similar treatment was meted out to Gudia. Their bodies were bundled in a sack and burnt in a field early on Tuesday.

All along, the only person whose conscience moved him enough to protest was Mahesh's grandfather. He lodged a complaint at the Khandoli police station on Tuesday night.

“An FIR has been lodged against the 12 accused,” Vinay Kumar Yadav, Agra police chief (rural).



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