Two star-crossed lovers committed suicide after the local village council, or panchayat, ordered them to annul their marriage or face death.The only really surprising part, to my thinking, was this:
Amreen was Muslim and her husband, Lokesh, a Hindu. Their match was simply unacceptable to their communities. The couple poisoned themselves.
Now police have charged the entire panchayat with abetting suicide.Damn, I hope it sticks.
Read the whole BBC story (the link above); this young couple should not die without the world knowing.
Two households, alike save for belief
In fair Phaphunda, where our scene is set,
Where Hindu-Muslim tensions lead to grief
And faiths, in conflict, evil will abet.
Amreen, a Muslim, and her love Lokesh,
A Hindu man who loved her more than life;
Two faiths the village elders would not mesh,
Though legally the two were man and wife.
They fell in love because the two would meet
Where Amreen’s father sold the family’s milk;
The panchayat—the governing elite—
Decreed they could not sully ilk with ilk.
The Hindu man and lovely Muslim bride
Chose poison over panchayat… and died.
But hey, religion is a good thing, and it's important that people believe, isn't it? Seriously, what could go wrong?