MSNBC, May 15, 2011
Two Muslim mothers have been arrested after allegedly killing their daughters for dishonoring the family by eloping with Hindu men, police in northern India said Sunday.
Newlyweds Zahida, 19, and Husna, 26, were strangled when they returned home after getting married to men of their choice, said Anil Kumar Kusan, a police officer.
Marriages between Hindus and Muslims are not common in India and are frowned upon by both communities, although there are more instances of inter-religious marriages among the educated urban population.
Across India, many marriages are still arranged by families. But with the booming economy and more women entering the work force, such traditions are slowly giving way to love marriages.
However, centuries-old caste and community barriers still come into play, and there has been a spurt in “honor killings” in recent years across northern India.
Zahida and Husna were neighbors in Baghpat, a town in India’s Uttar Pradesh state, when they fell in love with two construction workers. They eloped and got married last week before returning home to make peace with their families, Kusan said.
The girls belonged to Muslim families and their mothers, both widows, were furious, Kusan said.
Police believe that the mothers helped each other to strangle the girls.
The mothers were unrepentant saying the girls had brought shame and dishonor to their families, police said.