New Delhi, May 9 (IBNS): A top-ranking police official in Uttar Pradesh has been caught openly advocating honour killings, sparking fresh outrage over the controversy that grabbed headlines last year, media reports said.
Satish Kumar Mathur, the DIG of Saharanpur Range was reportedly caught on camera saying that if his sister ever eloped he would kill her or commit suicide.
Mathur made the shocking statement when he was on an inspection of police stations in the Prabudh Nagar district and met a man whose daughter had supposedly eloped.
“This is a matter of great shame," The DIG said when the father of the girl, Shaukeen Mohammad, a resident of Kaserwa village, sought help to find his missing daughter.
Mohammad’s 14-year-old daughter was allegedly abducted one-and-a-half-month ago by the goons in his village.
When he went to seek help from Mathur to find his daughter, the police officer snapped: “I don't have magical power to recover your daughter.”
“If your daughter had eloped then you should be ashamed of it and end your life. I would have committed suicide or killed my sister if she had eloped," he said.
The National Commission for Women (NCW) has called for Mathur's suspension.
"The statement of the DIG is irresponsible and he must be suspended immediately. Is this what they are being taught in the police force? This is very disturbing. The DIG should be suspended without further ado," NCW chairperson Mamta Sharma was quoted as saying.
Honor killings have been reported in northern regions of India, mainly in the Indian states of Uttarakhand, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, as a result of people marrying without their family's acceptance, and sometimes for marrying outside their caste or religion.
Even though there are no official figures, an independent study in 2010 suggested as many as 900 honour killings were carried out every year by orders of khap panchayats, or informal village courts, in north Indian states of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
Despite the nationwide outrage and the worrying frequency of such crimes, reports say politicians in states like Haryana and Uttar Pradesh refuse to back a crackdown on khap panchayats, in fear of losing their vote banks.
Police too have often been found to be twiddling fingers as such vigilante courts delivered verdicts against the young couples for them to be murdered by their own relatives to protect the family's pride and reputation.
Lashing out at the practice in strongest terms, the Supreme Court last year ordered strict punishment for police officials and bureaucrats who fail to deal with the menace, saying that officials who fail to check them should be prosecuted.