Shocking footage has surfaced online showing the moment last Friday that an Indian man was spotted roaming about on the streets carrying the severed head of his wife by the hair. The man reportedly beheaded his wife with an axe on the suspicion that she was involved in an illicit affair with his son-in-law.
The man, identified as 60-year-old Ramu Chavan, a security guard from the city of Pune, southwest India, was spotted carrying the head of his wife, 45-year-old Sonubai, in public after he beheaded her.
Footage filmed by a passerby who noticed the grisly trophy in Chavan’s hand shows the man dressed in a native dhoti carrying the head of his wife in one hand and an axe in the other.
He strolled casually on the streets as if he was carrying only a shopping bag.
Several people on the streets as Chavan wandered leisurely did not notice that he was carrying a human head. A few who noticed glanced in his direction nervously and quickened their pace.
Shocked bystanders alerted police, who rushed to the scene, arrested Chavan, and took him into custody. According to the Indian Zee News, police were investigating the incident, and Chavan was charged with murder under Indian law.
His mental state at the time was uncertain.
The incident has caused shock in the local community and a debate over what caused Chavan to murder his wife by decapitating her. Some attributed his action to cultural and religious beliefs that encourage the practice of “honor killings.”
But others suggested he was probably not of sound mind at the time.
Shocked readers on Zee News expressed outrage at Chavan’s action. Some suggested that he could have been under the influence of drugs.
“What could be more pathetic [than] killing your partner in such an old age… This guy should not be allowed to die [too] soon!”
“Looks like either he was drunk (or under influence of drugs) or he [was] mentally ill or both! Don’t drag religion into this!”
“Why should he kill her? Not happy just walk out of relationship like Europeans?”
Many Indians expressed the belief that the case was an incident of “honor killing,” a practice common in rural areas of the country, especially in the states of the northern region, such as Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
Honor killings often happen when a woman is thought to have dishonored her family by entering into a romantic relationship or a marriage without her family’s approval or with someone outside her caste or religious sect.
The practice is particularly common among the upper caste Rajputs and Jats of Haryana in communities under the control of local council of elders called the khap panchayats.
The Inquisitr reported last month the case of two sisters that a khap panchayat in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh ordered to be raped as punishment because their brother eloped with a young girl who was a member of an upper case Jat family.
The sisters, who belong to the lower Dalit class, considered “untouchables,” escaped punishment by fleeing to the nearby city of Delhi, where they reported to the police and petitioned the country’s Supreme Court for protection.
A separate and recent gruesome incident, according to the Daily Mail, involved two brothers who beheaded their sister for dishonoring their family by entering into an unapproved relationship.
The men reportedly paraded their sister’s head through their community declaring, “This is what happens when you have an illicit affair.”
Even more chilling was the fact that although several people in the local community witnessed the murder of 17-year-old Phool Jehan, no one reported to the authorities until a security man who learned about it informed the police.
[Images: YouTube Screengrab/Zee News]