With one stroke of the sword

A news item from India.

In the first honour killing in Kolkata in decades, a 29-year-old youth dragged his sister out on the street and cut off her head with one stroke of the sword in Ayubnagar locality of Nadial, barely 13km from the city centre, on Friday.

Scores of residents looked on in horror as Mehtab Alam walked to a police station with the head in his left hand and the sword in his right, dripping blood all along the way.

We know the rest without looking. She had sex with someone, or her brother thought she had sex with someone, or the brother thought the neighbors might think she had sex with someone, or the brother thought the neighbors might think the brother might think the neighbors might think she had sex with someone. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. Somebody somewhere might suspect that Mehtab Alam’s sister had The Wrong Penis up her, so her head had to be cut off – in the street where everyone could see.

Even as deputy commissioner-port division Mehboob Rehman rushed to the scene of crime, where Nilofar’s headless body lay in a pool of blood, Mehtab told the numbed police officers that he had killed his sister for “running off with a lover and dishonouring the family”, say sources. Nilofar was married for eight years and had two children. It was “immoral” for her to live with her former paramour, Firoz Hossain, Mehtab apparently told police.

And if it’s immoral, then her brother has every right to cut her head off. The wages of sluttery is decapitation.

 Nilofar married Akbar of Pachura, Rabindranagar, when she was 14. They have a son aged six and a daughter, four. On November 28, she ran away from her in-laws’ home, alleging that she was being harassed and tortured by Akbar’s brother. On November 30, she disappeared from herpaternal home, too.

Nilofar’s father lodged a missing person’s diary at Nadial police station. In a few days, Mehtab came to know that she was with Firoz, with whom she had an affair before marriage, say police.

That “married” is interesting – as if she’d done it of her own volition. How likely is that at age 14? And if it is likely, is it legal? No; the legal age in India is 18 for girls.

Whatever. She won’t be marrying or shacking up with anyone now.



  1. says

    Of course God hates women. He’s as misogynistic as the men who created him in the first place. If you have a god based on the way that men seem to typically regard women, of course God is a hateful, misogynistic fuck. The sole purpose of gods, I suspect, is to keep women in line, and to justify acts like this. It didn’t have to be like this. Trouble is, you see the same thing amongst the nonbelievers, in the atheist blogosphere. Look what happened over at PZ’s when he memorialised the murdered women of Montreal: the misogynists had a field day, of course. What the hell is wrong with people?

  2. Gordon Willis says

    In general, I tend to think that you are right, Eric. Oh, I know that there’s the unaccountable and the incomprehensible and personification and downright terror of all the things the primitive mind has to placate just in case, but it’s always the men’s view of things that dictates what everyone actually has to do, so it does seem to boil down to male hegemony, whatever way you look at it. And naturally it always works in favour of men’s ownership of women. That is really all that it is about, whether we’re talking of religion, the MRAs or far too many supposedly rational atheists.

  3. says

    Is it any wonder she ran off to her old lover? Sounds to me like he’s the only one willing to help her. Her family threw her to the wolves. If I read between the lines, it sounds like she went to them with her complaints about her husband and they wanted her to go back to him.
    They betrayed her once by forcing her into a crappy, early marriage and then they betrayed her again by refusing to help her when that marriage, predictably, went to shit. No wonder she didn’t stick around.

    So, let’s count: Nilofar herself is dead. Her brother will be going to jail. Her parents have lost two children. Her children have lost their mother (and are now in the care of the same family that drove her to desperation in the first place), and another woman nearly had her arm chopped off (according to the original article) and may yet die from the injury.
    But at least they kept their honor.

  4. Galloise Blonde says

    John Morales – I think in this context calling the perp a youth is to let the reader know he’s unmarried, because he’s too old to be called a boy, and he’s not yet a man because he hasn’t been allocated a female domestic /reproductive unit yet.

  5. Yoritomo says

    Nilofar married Akbar of Pachura, Rabindranagar, when she was 14. […] she was with Firoz, with whom she had an affair before marriage, say police.

    Sorry? Hereabout Firoz would be called a “childhood friend”, not an “old lover” or someone she had an “affair” with.

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