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Pregnant Muslim woman burnt alive by family for marrying Hindu man in Karnataka

In a shocking case of dis-honour killing, a young Muslim woman died after being burnt alive by her family members for marrying a man outside her religion. The incident happened in Gundakanala village of Bijapur district of Karnataka.

the 21-year-old Muslim woman named Banu Begum had reportedly fell in love with 24-year-old Sayabanna Sharanappa Konnur, a Hindu boy belonging to the Valimiki caste. Both Banu and Sayabanna are residents of the same village. When Banu’s parents learnt about their relationship in January this year, they had brutally assaulted Sayabanna.

“The day Banu’s parents found out about their relationship, they had dragged her to the police station. They had created a huge ruckus and had demanded that the police file a POCSO case against Sayabanna claiming that their daughter was a minor,” PK Patil, Talikote DSP, was quoted as saying. After an enquiry, the police dropped the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses) case lodged against Konnur.

Following this incident, Banu and Sayabanna eloped to Goa to get married. They later got their marriage registered at the at the sub-registrar’s office in Muddebihal in Karnataka. When Banu got pregnant, the couple returned to their village thinking that their families would accept their wedlock. As the couple came back to Gundakanala village on last Saturday (3 June) and met their families with the news of Banu’s pregnancy, a huge fight raged.

“Banu’s parents wanted her to leave Sayabanna and the boy’s father was also not too pleased with the marriage. 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,” the DSP said.

Sayabanna was bitten all over his body and Banu’s mother had pelted stones at him. But Sayabanna managed to escape and ran to the Talikote Police Station for help. A severely injured Sayabanna informed the police about the incident, sought help and ran back to Banu’s place to save her. But by the time he reached Banu’s house, her family members had set her on fire.

Sayabanna, meanwhile, begged for help to save her wife’s life but Banu’s neighbours went inside their homes and locked their doors while she was being burnt. Police claims to have reached Banu’s house 10 minutes after Sayabanna reached out to them, but by that time everything was over. Banu had been stabbed multiple times before being set on fire, police said. Sayabanna sustained injuries in the process of dousing flames from her wife’s body.

The police have arrested Banu’s mother, sister, brother-in-law and brother in connection with the shocking incident. Four other accused – two elder sisters of Banu and her two brothers – are still at large.

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