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Man 'beheaded daughter with sword'

Man 'beheaded daughter with sword'
A man beheaded his daughter in north-western India


Published: 4:53am, 20th June 2012
Updated: 7:46pm, 20th June 2012

A father in north-western India remains unrepentant after beheading his daughter with a ceremonial sword in a rage over her relationships with men, police said.

The man surrendered at a police station, carrying the head in one hand and the bloodied sword in the other, police said.

Oghad Singh, 46, was charged with murder.

Residents of Dungarji village expressed shock as they performed the last rites for the 20-year-old woman, who was killed on Monday.

Police said Singh, a marble miner, had accused his daughter of bringing dishonour to the family and making it hard to find husbands for her two unmarried sisters.

Women wailing in grief lined the dusty road of the village in Rajasthan state as a procession carried Manju Kanwar's remains to her funeral pyre. As in many north and west Indian villages, the women, including her mother and four sisters, were not allowed to attend the funeral.

Rapidly modernising India faces increasing social clashes as youths resist traditions such as arranged marriage or limits on women venturing outside their parents' or husbands' homes, especially in conservative rural areas. Some of these conflicts have led to women or young couples being lynched by village kangaroo courts. But such a brutal punishment by a father is relatively rare in a country of 1.2 billion people.

Dungarji residents condemned Singh's actions as extreme. They said that Singh, his shirt soaked in blood, had carried his daughter's head through the village, describing what he had done to neighbours.

A coroner stitched Kanwar's head on to her body for the funeral. About 100 men, many of them relatives wearing ceremonial Rajput warrior clan turbans, surrounded her muslin-wrapped body, and her brother lit the funeral pyre.

India is considered one of the harshest places in the world for women, with female infanticide and child marriage still common. The UN's gender inequality index places India second to last, above Saudi Arabia, based on labour, reproductive health, education and politics. The index does not consider issues of violence.

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