Indian boy thrown under train for writing love letter

Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:47am EST
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PATNA, India (Reuters) - A teenage Indian boy was thrashed, paraded through the streets with his head shaved and then thrown under a train for daring to write a love letter to a girl from a different caste, police said Thursday.

Fifteen-year-old Manish Kumar was kidnapped by members of the rival caste on his way to school, had his head shaved and was thrown under a train as his mother begged for mercy, police in the impoverished eastern state of Bihar said.

One man has so far been arrested and a policeman suspended.

The victim's mother Lalit Devi told police she had watched "helplessly" as the wheels of the train passed over her son.

"The accused persons killed the boy for writing a love letter to the girl of the same village," superintendent of police in Kaimur district, Rajesh Kumar, told Reuters by telephone.

Police said the girl belonged to a washerman community, considered a lower caste, whereas the boy came from the slightly higher dairymen Yadav community.

Love across caste lines is often violently opposed, especially in rural northern India, and it is not uncommon for outraged families to kill to "save the family honor."

(Writing by Simon Denyer; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)