The prevailing situation in Delhi's 400-year-old Wazirpur village continues to be tense with a large posse of policemen posted to prevent any untoward incident after the first inter-caste couple of the village was found grisly murdered.
“Our village has never witnessed any inter-caste marriage. This was the first one. Even people from two biradaris of the same village never married, what to speak of caste”, said Mahendra Singh Khari, the local panchayat pradhan.
“We consider all boys and girls of this village as brothers and sisters. We are not against love marriage, but we cannot allow marriage between boys and girls of the same village”, said Khari.
Shops in the village are closed and the residents are unwilling to speak to outsiders. “This is not the village as we know it. The cracks can be seen now and it will take some time for the situation to ease”, said an elder Daljit Singh.
“The police and media are portraying these as honour killings. They forget that both families own a lot of property and that could well have triggered the killings”, said pradhan Khari.
Khari however admits: “We had not opposed the marriage but had asked them to stay outside the village.”
However Ashok Khari, a local, did not mince words,. He told Times reporter: “ Four months back, Monica decided to come back to Ashok Vihar after staying for four years at her maternal uncle's house in Janakpuri. That revived old bitter memories. Things turned for the worse when Monica's cousins – Khushboo and Shobha – eloped this year. Though Shubha returned after a day, it did not go down well with the elders of the village”.
Explains Kuldip's father Ajit Singh: “ During the four years they stayed in Janakpuri, I never visited my son or daughter-in-law. However I never stopped them from coming here to seek my blessings. It was his fate which brought his death. Our family is not against this marriage, but we will avoid such marriage in future.”
The main suspects Ankit and Mandeep are close friends. They were easily influenced by the discussions among the elders of the village over the inter-caste marriage and the elopement of two more girls.
“Recently Mandeep complained to Ankit that he could not stop his sister Monica's inter-caste marriage. Ankit told Mandeep that even he could not stop his two sisters from eloping. The two cousins probably got influenced by such loose talk among the village elders and decided to teach their seniors a lesson”, said a policeman involved in the probe.