Indian couple, in their 20s, stoned to death for inter-caste marriage

The couple was attacked after returning to their home village to visit family members.

Matthias Ang| November 08, 06:32 PM

A couple in the northern Gadag district of the Indian state of Karnataka has been stoned to death by relatives of the wife for the inter-caste status of their marriage, Indian media NDTV reported.

Came back to village to visit family

According to Outlook India, the incident had happened at the home village of the couple, Ramesh and Gangavva, when they returned to meet family members.

Police officer Guru Shanth told Associated France-Presse (AFP) that the couple was spotted by villagers on Nov. 6.

The villagers then informed Ravi, the woman's brother, reported NDTV.

Ravi then gathered a mob that attacked the couple and killed them with stones.

The officer added that three of the suspects have since been identified, including Ravi and Gangavva's uncle.

Woman married outside her caste

Outlook India further highlighted that the 23-year old woman had married the 29-year old man three years ago against the wishes of both families outside of her caste.

NDTV reported that the couple then moved out of the village to work in the cities of Bangalore and Shivamogga as construction labourers.

They had two children.

Police superintendent disputes honour killing

However, the superintendent of police, Srinath Joshi, has disputed that it is a case of honour killing over a marriage between castes, reported NDTV.

Instead, Srinath attributed the killings to personal enmity between Ramesh and Ravi.

He explained that the two fell out after Ramesh fell in love with Gangavva and married her.

About 1,000 of 5,000 global honour killings occur in India every year

According to UN statistics, roughly 1,000 out of 5,000 global honour killings occur in India every year.

Such murders are usually undertaken by close relatives or village elders to protect what is perceived to be the family's reputation within the caste system.

India's Supreme Court previously ruled in 2011 that the punishment for honour killings should be the death penalty.

Top image from Kumar's Edit via Flickr.