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CHANDIGARH: In a landmark judgment, a Haryana court on Tuesday awarded the death penalty to five persons and life sentence to one for murdering a couple on the diktats of a ‘khap panchayat' (caste-based council) for marrying against societal norms in 2007.
Karnal Additional District and Sessions Judge Vani Gopal Sharma, who had reserved the judgment on Thursday, pronounced the quantum of punishment for the six persons found guilty of killing Manoj and Babli, who married outside their gotra (sub-caste).
All five who have been given the death sentence are relatives of the girl. They include her brother Suresh, cousins Gurdev and Satish, and uncles Baru Ram and Rajender. Khap panchayat leader Ganga Ram was awarded the life sentence, while the driver, held guilty of kidnapping, was given a jail term of seven years.
Manoj, who ran an electronics repair shop at Kaithal, eloped with Babli, a resident of Karoran village, in May 2007.
According to the police, the girl's relatives dragged the couple out of a Karnal-bound bus in June 2007 and murdered them.
Their bodies were found in a canal, with their hands and legs tied. This is the first case in which the boy's family moved the court against the honour killing after the khap panchayat had ruled against the couple's marriage.
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