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25-yr-old widow regrets trip

Behrampore, Aug. 1: The young woman whose husband was beheaded after a kangaroo court in Murshidabad today regretted coming to see her parents from Mumbai.

The court of elders at Lakshmanpur village had decided that her husband must die because he had married from another community.

“Why did I come to visit my parents at all? If I had not come, I would not have lost my husband. I knew my husband belonged to a different religion but I married him because I loved him,” wailed the 25-year-old widow, with her 10-month-old son in her arms.

A large force led by additional superintendent of police Debashis Bej went to the village this evening and picked up 26 villagers. They have been detained for interrogation. Police pickets have been posted in the village.

Bej said the police would continue to patrol the village tomorrow to defuse tension. “We are carrying out raids to arrest all the culprits.”

Three men had been arrested last night.

Home secretary Asok Mohan Chakrabarti said in Calcutta “strictest action” will be taken against the culprits. “We will take strictest action against those responsible for the heinous crime. Such an incident cannot be tolerated in 2008. Is it a sin to marry in a different community?”

The 30-year-old man was killed on July 14. The woman, a maid in Mumbai, had met her husband three years ago. She had kept her husband’s religion a secret from her parents as the village was orthodox.

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