In an alleged case of honour killing, a young couple was killed by the maternal uncles of the woman after they got married against their wishes.

The term "honour killing" refers to the murder of a person by the family member/members motivated by the belief that the victim had brought "shame" to the family, often by perceived relationships outside of the clan or caste.

Police said on Friday (6 October) that the incident happened in the south Indian state of Telangana on Thursday when the victims – Neduri Harish and N Rachana – came to their village and were attacked by Rachana's uncles with knives and daggers. They died on the spot, the Hindustan Times reported.

According to reports, Harish and Rachana were in a relationship for the last two years and despite resistance from the girl's family they got married four months ago in a temple. The 21-year-old girl, whose parents were not alive and have been raised by her uncles, was a graduate but Harish was an auto rickshaw driver.

Rachana's uncles – Ashok, Shekar and Nagaraju – had threatened them in the past also and the couple had lodged a complaint against them as they feared for their lives.

The two were staying at the residence of Harish's relatives in some other village but when the police called Rachana's uncles and counselled them, the couple thought that the uncles would accept their relationship and they returned to their village on Thursday only to be killed.

An investigation into the case has been launched. Police have inquired from locals about the incident and registered a murder case against the accused and are on the lookout for them.