“We Don’t Feel Any Remorse”

A young woman and her lover have been tortured and murdered by members of her family because they would not leave off seeing each other.

Asha Saini, 19, and Yogesh Humar Jatav, 21, late Sunday night and early Monday morning were bound, beaten, and electrocuted by members of Saini’s family, including her father and uncle.

New Delhi police first arrested these two men; the uncle, Om Prakash, allegedly confessed to the crime before the court, and later told reporters: “We killed them using an electric shock. Yogesh had come to our house. We don’t feel any remorse.”

“On being asked why they took the drastic step, Saini and Om Prakash said Asha had left them no alternative,” said a senior police officer requesting anonymity. “They said Asha’s deed frustrated them and the family didn’t regret killing them.”

The Press Trust of India now reports that Saini’s mother, cousin, and aunt have also been arrested.

Saini and Jatav were in love and wished to be married. Jatav’s family sanctioned the match; Saini’s did not. “It was because he is from a different caste,” Jatav’s uncle, Devindri Devi, told The Independent. Saini’s father owns and operates a thriving vegetable wholesale business; Jatav’s father, as well as his mother, are dead. Jatav worked as a taxi driver; two months ago he bought his own, second-hand van.

After her parents ordered Saini to cease contact with Jatav, the lovers continued to meet at the local market. Sunday night Saini’s mother contacted Jatav and asked him to come to Prakash’s house. When he arrived, he was seized, tied up, and tortured.

Neighbours claimed they heard shouting coming from the house and tried to intervene, but were sent away by the uncle who said they were taking care of “family business.” One neighbour told reporters that several times during the night they heard a young woman screaming: “Do whatever you want to me, please just let him go.” At around 3.30am the noises stopped.

The following morning, with Mr Jatav’s red Maruti van still parked outside the uncle’s house but with no one apparently inside, the neighbours called the police. When they broke down the door, they found the bodies of the young couple, still bound. Some reports said electrical wires were coming from the wall. Others said metal bars had been used to beat the pair.

“When we found the bodies, the couple’s legs and hands were tied and they were bleeding,” the deputy commissioner of Delhi police, NS Bundela, told a press conference yesterday. “The couple were electrocuted as well, but we will wait for the full post-mortem report.”

The Hindustan Times dutifully offers the usual “but they were such nice people” testimonials.

The Sainis’ neighbours in Gokulpuri expressed shock at the horrific murder committed by the “good people.”

“God knows what came over them on Sunday. They were such good people,” said Vishnu Sharma (36), who runs a provision store near the Sainis’ home residence. “I’ve known the Sainis for two years. They never got into fights. I couldn’t believe the story about Asha’s brutal murder till I saw them on television this morning.”

Jainarayan Singh (40), another neighbour said, “Asha’s mother, Maya is a very hardworking woman. She used to spend most of her day hard at work at the vegetable market to make enough money for her daughters’ weddings. It’s very hard to believe the same woman murdered one of them just because the boy’s caste was a factor.”

Generally I don’t read the comments that people post to online news items. The first comment offered in response to the Hindustan Timesstory on these killings is the reason why:

Everyone seems to be looking at just one side of the coin…But just imagine what it takes to bring up a child for 19 yrs and then realizing that he/she has no respect left for your feelings anymore…stupid ppl give too much importance to that immediate rush of romance rather than thinking about how much harm they are causing to their parents…

Just look at the last para to read, how hard her mother worked all day to brought her up…Was all that sacrifice of no value in her daughter’s eyes???…


5 Responses to ““We Don’t Feel Any Remorse””

  1. 1 Elva June 18, 2010 at 5:59 am

    We, as parents, do our best to bring our children to adulthood as we would like them to be. We have no control of our children once they become adults. We MUST still love them and the choices they make for the rest of their lives. If we are not pleased with these choices, it is best to keep quiet and be happy that they are healthy and alive.

  2. 2 Julia Rain (the daughter) September 4, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    The next comment was even worse “But, tell me is it according to moral to indulge in pre-marital relations and creating problems for family and society? If yes, then killing is also moral.”


    Reminds me of what the father of an American-Iraqi 20-year-old, who ran his daughter over and killed her, said about his actions “No one hates his daughter, but honor is precious…and we are a tribal society. I didn’t kill someone off the street. I tried to give her a chance.”

    It sounds like he feels remorseful, but still felt he had to do it. Which a good sign, at least. It means that if we can change societal ideas of “honor”, we may just get a handle on these atrocities.

    • 3 bluenred September 5, 2010 at 10:19 am

      “Honor” is a tricky one. I believe it is important to live honorably. But the problem is that there is no one set definition of “honor.” Too, honor can also morph into pride, at which time you have strayed into one of the seven deadly sins. ; /

      I think it’s pretty clear that if “honor” compels you to kill your daughter, there is something wrong with your conception of “honor.” But not everyone thinks that. The sort of “honor” referenced in this piece is of the type that values the whole over the individual, the family or tribe over individual members of it. The act of an individual can be seen as bringing shame upon the whole, and it is then incumbent upon the whole to punish the individual.

      That sort of thing was fairly common among Westerners until pretty recently. You have an example in your own family. My grandmother was driven from her home because she had sinned against her family’s honor by becoming pregnant out of wedlock. The father of the child was a millionaire; to preserve his “honor,” his chauffeur was forced to affix his name upon the birth certificate as the father.

    • 4 bluenred September 6, 2010 at 6:29 pm

      In “The Fifth of September” chapter of The Count of Monte Cristo, a businessman who can’t pay his debts prepares to commit suicide. Why? Because:

      “Blood washes out dishonour.”

      He explains to his son:

      “If I live, all would be changed; if I live, interest would be converted into doubt, pity into hostility; if I live, I am only a man who has broken his word, failed in his engagements—in fact, only a bankrupt. If, on the contrary, I die, remember, Maximilian, my corpse is that of an honest but unfortunate man. Living, my best friends would avoid my house; dead, all Marseilles will follow me in tears to my last home. Living, you would feel shame at my name; dead, you may raise your head and say, ‘I am the son of him you killed, because, for the first time, he has been compelled to fail in his word.'”

      So see: this nonsense was once prevalent in the West, too. I may have mentioned here that in another Dumas novel, Memoirs of a Physician I think, a man who discovers his unmarried sister is pregnant prepares to kill her to save his family’s honor; it is only once he is convinced that his sister was taken while unconscious that he decides he doesn’t have to kill her.

  3. 5 juliarain September 10, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    I remember hearing the story of the unconscious sister at some point. I suppose the difference between the man who gave the speech in “The Count of Monte Cristo” and the honor killings now prevalent in the Muslim world, is that this man, once dead, would have supposedly been remembered honorably; when these Muslim women are murdered, are they remembered honorably? Or is it only their male relatives who get to be regarded as honorable?

    Either way, yes, the idea of death = honor is not foreign to the Western world.

    I do also remember the story of the unlucky chauffeur.

    I don’t believe in pride. It needs to go away. At least when it is for one’s self.

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When I Worked

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