By Nita Bhalla
NEW DELHI, Nov 17 (TrustLaw) - A court in north India handed down the death penalty to eight people and life imprisonment to another 27 people for publically hanging a couple who eloped against their families wishes in a "honour killing" which took place 20 years ago, the Times of India reported on Thursday.
The report said those convicted -- most of whom are now over 60-years-old -- were members of the local village council in India's Uttar Pradesh region, who held a hearing and then ordered the couple and their friend who helped them run away to be hanged.
"...the couple were brutally assaulted during the hearing and their private parts set on fire," the report said, adding that the victims promised to flee the village and never return but the village elders did not relent.
"Honour killings" -- when a person is murdered by a family member out of belief that the victim has brought shame on the family, clan or community -- are common in parts of South Asia, such as Pakistan, Afghanistan and some regions of India.
The United Nations Population Fund estimates that 5,000 women are victims of "honour killings" every year.
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