Bhavana Yadav, a final year student in Sanskrit Honours at Delhi University was killed by her family for choosing to marry outside her caste. In November 2014 Bhavana had married Abhishek Seth, an assistant programmer at the Cabinet Secretariat who she had met through mutual friends a year earlier. On learning of the marriage, Bhavana’s family immediately disapproved, citing the fact that the pair belonged to different castes.
Initially, Bhavana’s family told her new husband that all would be well following a ‘proper’ marriage ceremony, though the marriage had already been registered in court. Abhishek agreed that Bhavana could return home ‘as their family prestige was at stake’ but her return was met with torture. She managed to run away but her parents again took her back and this time decided to kill her, beating her, strangling her and taking her body to be cremated in their village.
When Abhishek learnt of his wife’s death he rushed to the police station. The family initially denied the murder, putting it down to a snakebite, but confessed on interrogation.