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Indian man hacked to death over inter-caste marriage

An Indian man has allegedly been hacked to death by his wife's relatives because he was from a different caste. The UN says hundreds of so-called "honor killings" take place in India each year.

Three men wielding sickles attacked the 22-year-old student and his young wife on a crowded street in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, local police said Monday.

The couple reportedly married eight months ago, despite opposition from the wife's side of the family.

"The woman's family was unhappy. She is an upper Thevar Hindu caste and the man was a Dalit," local police commissioner N Manjunatha told news agency AFP.

The 19-year-old wife survived the altercation and was taken to hospital with critical head injuries.

Police investigating

Security camera footage broadcast on Indian television showed the couple walking in Tirupur district when three men riding a motorcycle stopped nearby and attacked them.

Local police said they were searching for the woman's uncle in connection with the attack.

Instances of couples being targeted by angry family members who disapprove of their relationships aren't unusual in India, especially in more rural areas. These so-called honor killings are often carried out by relatives or caste members to protect what they see as the family's pride.

"The couple had faced death threats from the woman's family from the day they got married," the deceased man's father said, according to a report in the "Times of India."

Around one fifth of the 5,000 honor killings committed around the world each year take place in India, according to figures from the United Nations.

Thevars are a dominant community in Tamil Nadu, while members of the lowest Dalit caste - formerly known as "untouchables"- have been historically marginalized.

nm/rc (AFP, dpa)

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