Honor killing in Basti: Ankit Gautam (19) was killed by his girlfriend's brothers

Ankit Gautam, Ameena Khatun
born: 2003, 2004
strangled: 26 August 2022
Residence: Basti, Uttar Pradesh, India
Origin: Hindu, Dalit
Children: none
Perpetrators: Irfan and Irshad Khatun and their cousin Israr
On Saturday morning, August 27, the body of 19-year-old Hindu Dalit tractor driver Ankit Gautam was found in a sugarcane field in Basti, a district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Two days later, police arrested two brothers, Irfan and Irshad and their cousin Israr for Ankit's murder for having a relationship with their 18-year-old sister Ameena Khatun.

Ameena died under mysterious circumstances. Her family says she was shocked by the sequence of events and ingested a poisonous substance on Friday from which she died and was hastily buried Saturday morning. Police exhumed the body for a judicial examination post-mortem.

Autopsy reveals that Ankit was strangled. Ameena's cause of death could not be determined.

According to police, Ankit was in a relationship with a Muslim girl from a wealthy family. The motive for the murder(s) was said to be Ameena's brothers' dissatisfaction with the interfaith relationship. On Friday night, Ankit allegedly went to his girlfriend's house after she called him. Her brothers caught the two together. They strangled Ankit and dumped his body in sugarcane fields.

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:

Questions about honour killings

  • refuses to cooperate in an arranged marriage.

  • wants to end the relationship.

  • was the victim of rape or sexual assault.

  • was accused of having a sexual relationship outside of marriage.

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.

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