In a horrific incident, a couple was brutally hacked to death with an axe allegedly by family members of the woman in Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun district on May 14 after they eloped earlier this month, police said today.

According to a report in the Hindustan Times, the deceased have been identified as Govind Kumar, 23, and Asha Kumari, 20, of Urania of Saidpur block. The couple had reportedly eloped from the village on May 9.

The report suggests that Asha’s father Rambharose called upon the couple to his home on the pretext of finalising the day for their wedding. Asha returned home on Friday and Govind on Saturday following his request.

“Rambharose had apparently told the couple that he was ready to accept their relationship and invited the boy to his house to fix the marriage,” Badaun SSP Chandra Prakash said.

“When Govind reached the girl’s house, he along with the girl were tied with a rope and were attacked with an axe which led to the deaths,” the police said.

Asha’s family members then left Govind’s dead body inside the house and dumped her body on the street outside the house and fled. Villagers informed the police about the honour killing, following which a police team was sent to the spot. The team sent the bodies for a post-mortem investigation and also recovered the murder weapon.

Many people, especially women, are killed in the name of ‘family honour’ over perceived damage to “honour” that can involve eloping or fraternising with men.

According to NCRB data, UP, which registered a single case in 2014, topped the list the next year with 131 cases of murder with honour killing as the sole motive.

Police have registered a case of murder and criminal conspiracy and filed other charges under the Indian Police Code (IPC).