Two Muslim women arrested after 'they killed their daughters for eloping with Hindu men'

  • 'We have no remorse ... they brought shame to our community,' says alleged murderer
The women were allegedly murdered in the town of Baghpat in northern India

The women were allegedly murdered in the town of Baghpat in northern India

Two Muslim mothers in an Indian town have been arrested over allegations they killed their daughters for dishonouring the family by eloping with Hindu men.

Newlyweds Zahida, 19, and Husna, 26, were strangled when they returned home in Baghpat, northern India, after getting married to men of their choice, said a police source.

Marriages between Hindus and Muslims are not common in India and are frowned upon by both communities.

Across India, many marriages are still arranged by families.

But with the booming economy and more women entering the work force, such traditions are slowly giving way to love marriages.

However, centuries-old caste and community barriers still come into play, and there has been a spurt in 'honour killings' in recent years across northern India.

Zahida and Husna were neighbours in Baghpat, a town in India's Uttar Pradesh state, when they fell in love with two construction workers.

They eloped and got married last week before returning home to make peace with their families, Anil Kumar Kusan, a police officer, said.

The women belonged to Muslim families and their mothers, both widows, were furious, according to Mr Kusan.

Initial police investigations suggest that the mothers helped each other to strangle their daughters.

'We killed them because they brought shame to our community,' Khatun, one of the mothers, was quoted as saying by the Indian Express newspaper after her arrest.

'How could they elope with Hindus? They deserved to die. We have no remorse.'

Earlier this week, India's Supreme Court recommended the death penalty for honour killings, calling the practice barbaric and feudal.

Most victims of such killings are young adults who fall in love or marry against their families' wishes.

In some cases, village councils order couples those who marry outside their caste or religion to be killed.

While there are no official figures, an independent study found around 900 people are killed each year in India for defying their elders.

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