A 21-year-old Muslim woman from Gundakanala village, Bijapur district in Karnataka was burnt alive by her family members last Saturday for marrying a Dalit man, reported The News Minute. Banu Begum and Sayabanna Sharanappa Konnur, 24, eloped to Goa in January, where they had their marriage registered. After Banu got pregnant, the couple returned to the village hoping their parents would accept the marriage.
“The families did not accept their marriage and a huge fight raged through the day,” Talikote Deputy SP, PK Patil was quoted as saying by The News Minute.
“Banu’s parents wanted her to leave Sayabanna, and the boy’s father was also not too pleased with the match. 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,” he added. Sayabanna, who escaped to the police station to file a complaint, returned to see his wife set on fire. She had also been stabbed multiple times.
“Sayabanna arrived at the station and was severely injured. He narrated the series of events and he ran back to pick up Banu. But by the time he reached, the family members had set her on fire,” Patil said. The 24-year-old suffered minor injuries while trying to save his wife.
None of Sayabanna’s neighbours came forward to help him. He claimed they went home and locked their doors after Banu was set on fire, believing the girl had done a ‘terrible deed’.
Banu’s mother, brother, sister and father-in-law were arrested on the charges of murder and assault on Sunday. Four others accused in the case, including Banu’s two elder sisters and two brothers, are absconding.
According to the police, Banu’s family had previously approached them to file a POCSO case against Sayabanna, claiming their daughter was a minor. “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,” Patil, was quoted as saying by The News Minute. Shortly after this, the couple moved to Goa.