Honor killing in Karnataka: Shalini (17) was strangled by her father for falling in love with a Dalit boy
Strangled: 6 June 2022
Residence: Kaggundi, Karnataka, India
Perpetrator: her father Suresh
Shalini, 17, belongs to the Vokkaliga community, considered a higher caste in Karnataka, India. She was studying and fell in love with Manjunath, a Dalit boy from the neighboring village of Mellahalli. The Dalits are a group of people who are at the bottom of the social ladder.
When her parents heard about their affair, they filed a report against Manjunath because their daughter was a minor. At the police station, Shalini had said that they had been in love with each other for three years and she refused to go with her parents.
Shalini and Manjunath were well aware of the life-threatening situation that had been created by her parents' narrow-mindedness.
According to Manjunath, her parents had filed three charges against him and allegedly put a sum of money (about USD 2,500) on his head to hire killers to have him killed.
Shalini fears a murder plot by her own family. She asks Manjunath to record their phone conversation as evidence should anything happen to her. "In case of my abduction or murder, please give this audio clip to Periyapatna police. If something happens, my parents and relatives should be responsible," she said.
Shalini sent a letter to the police saying that in case of her death, Manjunath will not be responsible for it. "I became a victim of caste discrimination. I fell in love with a Dalit boy, my father verbally abused and mistreated me. My parents love caste more than their daughter," her letter read.
On Monday, June 6, 2022, Suresh strangled his daughter for falling in love with a Dalit boy. He then reported to the police station and confessed to the crime. The police launched an investigation and as part of it also took Shalini's mother Baby into custody.
What is an honour killing?
An honour killing is a murder in the name of honour. If a brother murders his sister to restore family honour, it is an honour killing. According to activists, the most common reasons for honour killings are as the victim:
Human rights activists believe that 100,000 honour killings are carried out every year, most of which are not reported to the authorities and some are even deliberately covered up by the authorities themselves, for example because the perpetrators are good friends with local policemen, officials or politicians. Violence against girls and women remains a serious problem in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Serbia and Turkey.