Honour Killings
Protesters against Honour Killings Image Credit: REUTERS

An Indian man murdered his pregnant daughter on Friday morning, only days before she was due to give birth to her first child. The incident happened in the western Indian city of Nashik.

Identified as 18-year-old Pramila Kamble, the victim married Deepak Kamble last year. Unfortunately for the couple, her father, Eknath Kisan Kumbharkar, refused to accept his son-in-law as he belonged to a lower caste.

Kumbharkar is 38 years old and works as a plumber, while Deepak works as a mason.

On the day of the incident, Kumbharkar, who is believed to have been under the influence of alcohol at the time, hired an auto-rickshaw (three-wheeled public transport vehicle) from his neighbour, Pramod Ahire, and the two drove to Deepak and Pramila Kamble's residence.

Upon reaching his destination, the accused told the victim of an illness affecting a family member who had been admitted to hospital. He took his daughter with him on this pretence; an unsuspecting husband allowed his wife, who was nine months pregnant, to accompany her father.

On the way, Kumbharkar asked Ahire to stop the vehicle in front of a hospital and summon a relative from within, according to the Mail Online. And while he was gone, Kumbharkar strangled his daughter to death with a nylon rope.

"I tried to stop him, and beat him and pull him off her but he continued to strangle her. I even appealed to locals to help me pull him away, however none of them came to help," Ahire told police later.

Kumbharkar fled from the scene but was arrested later. Meanwhile, Ahire rushed the girl to a hospital but neither she nor her child survived. And, according to police officers, Kumbharkar does not regret his action.

"He enquired with the police whether his daughter had survived and said if she had survived then he would not hesitate to strangle her again," a police officer said.

Pramila Kamble's death adds to the long list of honour killings in rural and semi-rural areas of India.

Two weeks ago, a man from Kheri village in the northern state of Haryana, killed his daughter in a suspected case of honour killing. Rajbir reportedly killed 18-year-old Seema after a few villagers questioned her character.

Police say that after he killed her, using a sharp weapon, the father threw his daughter's body into a dried-up well.