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Honour killing; Eight of a family beheaded
Published on 12 Feb. 2009 12:47 AM IST
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In an honour killing of arguably the worst kind, eight members of a family were shot, beheaded and their bodies thrown into the Ganga in Binoba riverine area of Bihar’s Naugachchia police district on Monday. An eerie calm now prevails in the village where 21-year-old Ratan and 18-year-old Kanchan once met each other clandestinely. On January 14 this year, the duo eloped and tied the knot at Mandar temple at Baunsi in neighbouring Banka district. While Ratan is almost illiterate, Kanchan has studied up to Class VI. Both belong to poor families and hail from Gangota caste. Yet, the elopement caused acute tension in the small village. For, the two families happened to be sympathisers of two rival gangs of criminals. “That’s why we earlier thought it to be a gang war of attrition,” a police officer said on Wednesday. While one gang was led by Bhajjo Mandal, the other is led by Kongresi Mandal. Bhajjo, in fact, was uncle of Ratan while Kanchan’s father Masudan Mandal is said to be an associate of Kongresi. Masudan and his men started threatening Ratan’s father Rupan with dire consequences if Kanchan did not return home. Villagers sympathising with Masudan later approached Rupan and Bhajjo and persuaded them to attend a “panchaiti” (a self-styled village court) for an amicable settlement of the matter. However, when Bhajjo and his men reached for panchaiti , hundreds of armed men of Kongresi gang, who were called by Masudan, rained bullets on them. “Kongresi was more keen on eliminating Bhajjo and his men than assisting the girl’s family settle the matter,” Naugachhia SP Gopal Prasad told TOI, adding that the deceased included Bhajjo. An FIR has been lodged on the basis of statements of Bhajjo’s brother and Ratan’s father. “My son would never have married the girl had he known it would lead to so much of bloodbath,” Ratan’s mother says. The lovebirds, meanwhile, remain incommunicado.

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