Weeks before the brutal murder of Palghar woman Shraddha Walkar in Delhi, two love centric killings in Assam and Tripura shocked the northeastern region with social scientists and scholars calling for a holistic approach to deal with such gory crimes.
In a gruesome murder case on November 5, a teenaged boy killed four members of his family, including his mother and 10-year-old sister, in Tripura’s Dhalai district, claiming that his parents loved and favoured his sister and ignored him in all matters.
The police arrested the 15-year-old boy the next day for killing his grandfather Badal Debnath (70), mother Samita Debnath (32), 10-year old sister, aunt Rekha Deb (42), with an axe when the victims were sleeping.
“After killing the four, the boy buried three of the four bodies in an under construction septic tank behind their home. The boy told us that his father Hradhan Debnath (a bus conductor) and mother always loved his sister but did not like him,” a senior police official told IANS on condition of anonymity.
The official quoting his father and neighbours said that the boy was a computer game addict and he often stole money from his home for online gaming.
During the midnight murders, the boy played music at a high volume to prevent the cries of the victims from being heard by the neighbours.
On September 11, in a remote tea garden area at Koilamari Balijan in eastern Assam’s Lakhimpur district, the body of a tribal youth — Biki Bishal (20) — was found hanging from a tree after the victim was allegedly called by someone from his girlfriend’s family to her village.
The local people and Bishal’s family members claimed that he was found with multiple injuries and they alleged that he was killed for not agreeing to convert to Christianity in order to marry his tribal girlfriend.
“Bishal was killed and then hanged since there was pressure on him to convert to his girlfriend’s religion if he wished to marry her,” a family member of the victim told the police.
According to Bishal’s family a week before his death, on September 3, he had eloped with his girlfriend and had brought her home. Both are from the same Adivasi community, but Bishal was a Hindu, and his girlfriend is a Christian.
On September 6, the girl’s family members, accompanied by some church officials, came to Bishal’s house and allegedly took the girl away against her will.
The police have arrested five people in connection with the case. The detainees include Bishal’s girlfriend’s father, two relatives and two officials of a local church.
The family members and villagers protested outside the police station demanding justice for Bishal’s family.
In February this year, a 32-year-old man from Assam’s Cachar district was arrested from Manipur’s Jiribam district for allegedly killing his girlfriend with a sharp object in the Chengkoorie area near southern Assam’s Silchar town.
According to the police Amar Sinha, a private bank employee, brutally killed the 20-year-old girl after calling the victim to a paddy field in broad daylight.
Social scientist and academician Manimay Roy said that such love centric crimes and killings cannot be curbed by the police or the law enforcing agencies alone and a holistic approach is required to deal with such issues.
“First the parents must be proactive in such happenings and these should be curbed at the initial stage. Proper and effective counselling of all concerned is required before the matter becomes very serious and complicated,” Roy told IANS.
To deal with such crimes and violent incidents, friends and close relatives can also be involved while efforts must be made to remove depression, if any, in the boys and girls, he observed.
According to experts, sometimes drugs and addiction to various negative matters causes such love centric crimes.
Security expert Manas Paul said that police or any law enforcing wing or for that matter any social agency cannot really stop a murder if it is being committed by a determined individual for his or her personal or family reasons or in a fit of rage.
“But when it comes to murders committed by minors due to drug addiction then the matter gets complicated. It is not then only a crime at the individual level but it also reflects a deeper malaise which needs to be addressed with a holistic approach involving law enforcers, medical fraternity and several other social, administrative units, NGOs, educational institutions etc,” Paul told IANS.
He said that it has to be kept in mind that a drug addict is not per se a criminal but a victim of the illegal drugs cartels and rackets.
“But when under the influence of drugs if he or she commits murder then he or she immediately becomes a criminal calling for legal action as per the law.”
Paul said that since overuse of narcotics transforms and pushes the young minds into a dark tunnel like situation, it becomes all the more complex and requires immediate initiatives from all concerned.
(Sujit Chakraborty can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)