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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 November 2007, 09:12 GMT
Policeman killed in dowry brawl
By Ram Dutt Tripathi
BBC News, Lucknow

Indian protest against dowries
Dowries have been the subject of much debate in India
A policeman has been killed in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh while trying to save two bridegrooms from a mob protesting against dowry payments.

Brothers Latafat and Gafoor went with some 80 members of a wedding party to marry two sisters.

But the two families began quarrelling after the ceremony, with the brides' family alleging that the grooms had demanded dowry payments.

Dowry payments have been illegal in India for more than 40 years.

However, the practice still goes on.

Official estimates show that every year almost 7,000 women are killed in India by their spouses and in-laws because of inadequate dowry payments.


Television networks showed pictures of angry villagers thrashing the two grooms and other members of the wedding party in Meerut district, 80km (50 miles) from the capital, Delhi.

The brothers were slapped on their faces as their cheeks bled. They were made to hold their ears and squat on the ground, a traditional punishment in schools.

Members of the wedding party called the police to rescue them.

A police spokesperson said when their team went to the village to try to pacify the villagers, a mob attacked the policemen with stones and bricks.

Constable Om Pal was killed and three other policemen were seriously injured, he said.

Police said five villagers were arrested on charges of murder and attempted murder.

The wedding party, including the grooms, has now been freed and returned to their village. The brides did not go with them.

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