The Gender Beat: BSP Leader, Son Arrested for Woman’s Murder; Dalit Woman Killed After Her Brother Elopes

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A round-up of what’s happening in the worlds of gender and sexuality

At a protest against 'honour killings', a woman holds a poster saying 'There is no honour in killing.' Credit: Reuters.

At a protest against ‘honour killings’, a woman holds a poster saying ‘There is no honour in killing.’ Credit: Reuters.

Murder case against BSP leader and son

Police have registered a murder case against Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mahendra Katiyar and his son Gurdeep. The latter had allegedly abducted and raped a Dalit woman in 2014 in Kanpur.

When the woman sought justice, she was repeatedly jailed by the police under charges of her being a thief and a gangster. She was arrested for a fourth time on April 29, following which she suffered fatal injuries.

The Kamalgunj station house officer, Saligram Verma, and four other police officers have also been named in the case. They have been suspended.

Daughters-in-law should be treated as family members, says Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of India has expressed concern over the torture and abuse of married women across the country, saying that women cannot be “thrown out of her matrimonial home at any time.”

A PTI report quotes a two judge bench at the apex court saying: “A daughter-in-law is to be treated as a member of the family with warmth and affection and not as a stranger with respectable and ignoble indifference.”

The judges made these comments while upholding the seven-year jail sentence of a man who tortured his wife who then committed suicide.

Maharashtra bans social boycotts that target women and Dalits

Maharashtra is the first state in the country to ban the practice of social boycotts by village panchayats, say reports.

Social boycotts deny individuals and families access to community life and facilities, including wells, markets, temples and celebrations. It is women and Dalits who bear the brunt of this ostracisation, says a report by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Now, such practices will incur up to seven years in prison or a fine of five lakh rupees, or both.

Indian lesbian couple lose legal battle to stay in the United Kingdom

Two Indian women, who entered into a civil partnership in the United Kingdom and later married, have been denied indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

While the court conceded that India does not recognise same-sex partnerships, it denied their application, arguing that there was no evidence that they will be subjected to violence if they return to India.

The couple plans to challenge the decision in the UK’s Supreme Court.

Dalit woman killed after her brother elopes

A caste Hindu man whose daughter eloped with a Dalit man allegedly hacked the groom’s sister to death, say reports. The couple, S. Viswanathan and S. Kaveri, were married four months ago.

Kaveri’s father visited Viswanathan’s house and allegedly threatened his family, after which Viswanathan’s father filed a police report and sought protection.

On May 13, Kaveri’s father went to the family’s house again and allegedly murdered Viswanathan’s 27-year-old sister. Although she was rushed to hospital, she succumbed to her injuries.

Jadavpur University women students “shameless”: BJP

Responding to accusations of molestation by women students at Jadavpur University in Kolkata, West Bengal BJP president called the women “shameless” and claimed that it was they who had “intentionally” thrown themselves at the accused, say reports. Ghosh said, “Those who fear so much for their modesty, why did they go there [sic].”

Ghosh’s remarks followed a scuffle between left-leaning students and members of BJP’s student wing, the ABVP, after a screening of Vivek Agnihotri’s film Buddha in a Traffic Jam on May 6. A group of women students filed FIRs accusing four ABVP activists of sexual harassment. Students at the university have condemned Ghosh’s statements.

Women suffer the most in Punjab: AAP women’s wing president

Over 800 women attended the Aam Aadmi Party’s Women’s Dialogue held in Ludhiana on May 15, according to a report in The Indian Express.

The event was held in order to take women’s feedback for the party’s election manifesto, said Baljinder Kaur, the president of the party’s women’s wing.

Kaur said that the manifesto will include plans to enable more women to study and work.

“They (women) suffer the most due to all the problems of the state,” said Kaur.

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