Tragic end to inter-caste marriage

B(V)almikis are an untouchable caste among Hindus. Even after conversion to Sikh religion as well as Islam and Xtianity the social stigma attached to them has not gone way. In the following story a Balmiki (untouchable) Sikh was killed for marrying a Jat (Upper caste) Sikh.

Tragic end to inter-caste marriage

Raveen Thukral (Chandigarh, November 30)

EVEN AS the country prepares to enter the year 2000, inter-caste marriages are still a taboo. Even in a progressive state like Punjab people are prepared to kill and get killed over the issue.

The cold-blooded murder of a youth, Gurcharan Singh, by his brother-in-law, Kulbir Singh, here last night and the subsequent suicide by the deceasedís wife, Jasbir (21), is the culmination of yet another inter-caste love affair and marriage.

Unable to bear the death of her husband by her brother, who was caught after the incident, Jasbir, set herself afire and subsequently died at the PGI hospital.

Gurcharan and Kulbir met about three years ago in Jandiala village, on the outskirts of Amritsar and became friends. Gurcharan, a regular visitor to Kulbirís house, fell in love with Jasbir and about a year ago the duo decided to elope as the girlís family, Jat Sikh, would not have agreed to the marriage, Gurcharan being Balmiki.

Unable to bear the social stigma attached to inter-caste marriages, Kulbir decide to avenge what he claims was a "humiliation" for his family. He decided to kill Gurcharan and to do so he first won their trust by visiting them off and on.

During his several visits to the house, Kulbir managed to gain the trust of both his sister and her husband.

To give a final shape to his "revenge", Kulbir recently visited one of his relatives in UP and procured a country-made pistol with eight cartridges.

Last evening he reached his sisterís house and took Gurcharan out on the pretext of shopping. The duo, along with another friend, first went to the market to buy some stuff and also had some snacks at a pub.

Later Kulbir and Gurcharan drove back on a two wheeler. Little while later, Kulbir, who was the pillion, whisked out his pistol and shot his brother-in-law under the chin even as he was driving. Both of them fell down as Gurcharan lost balance.

Thereafter Kulbir reloaded his pistol and shot the already bleeding Gurcharan in the head from a point blank range. Though, he tried to flee from the spot some residents chased him and a PCR van staff subsequently nabbed him.

Later Kulbir confessed to the crime and also reportedly told some newsmen that his sister would be his next target as she had "spoiled" the name of the family. But Jasbir had other plans.

Unable to bear the death of her husband, Jasbir set herself afire. She was taken to the PGI hospital where she succumbed to her burns.

Hindustan Times

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