When love turns brutal

- December 27, 2018
| By : Mihir Srivastava |

The sexual stigma involved in same sex relationship leads to greater brutality in passion killings of homosexuals All is fair in love and war. Most gory murders are those driven by passion. But when deviant sexuality is a cause, it adds another dimension. Many of the gay murders that have come to light are by […]

A man surrendered at the police station after killing his wife with a shovel following a property dispute in UP on August 6. (Representational photo)

The sexual stigma involved in same sex relationship leads to greater brutality in passion killings of homosexuals

All is fair in love and war. Most gory murders are those driven by passion. But when deviant sexuality is a cause, it adds another dimension. Many of the gay murders that have come to light are by a frustrated lover of an unsolicited love affair. In many of the cases, people indulge in same sex affairs to satisfy their curiosity.

This experiment takes an ugly turn when attraction becomes an obsession, which can easily turn violent and lead to murder. People in one-sided relationships find it difficult to take a no for a no. The overriding sentiment is if you can’t be mine, you can’t be anyone else’s either. Some of these murders are so brutal that they seem to be driven by hate rather than love.

Shashwat, a young radiologist, was in his mid-twenties, when he was hacked to death in the duty room by his colleague Suyash Gupta in August 2016. The autopsy revealed that he was stabbed over 20 times, on neck, chest, thigh, back, face and private parts; his body was found in a pool of blood. Shashwat was being stalked by Gupta from the time he joined Lady Hardinge Medical College.

Shashwat tried many times, but couldn’t dissuade him. With every rejection, Gupta became bolder to the extent of threatening to physically harm him. He even sent death threats on WhatsApp.

It has been more than two years, Gupta is still at large. The police are clueless. Shashwat’s family organised a candlelight vigil and even held a public demonstration about police inaction. Gupta’s family has been trying to create an impression that he and Shashwat were having a secret affair, which
the latter’s family denies vehemently.

Gupta was stalking Shashwat and the matter was referred to the police. Shashwat’s closeness to a girl enraged Gupta. Gupta’s mother claims that her son was prescribed a strong antipsychotic drug upon knowing about his sexual orientation, which caused severe side-effects like short-term memory lapse, nausea, dyskinesia and mental sluggishness. Resident doctors also claim that Gupta suffered psychiatric illness, and it was due to his erratic behaviour that he was barred from entering the medical college.

But the case took another turn when Gupta’s parents approached the Delhi High Court to know their son’s whereabouts. Gupta’s mother in her petition says that her family has cooperated with the police in every possible manner but feels that police failing to find her son amounts to dereliction of duty. The family suspects that it might as well be a case of double murder — not just Shashwat, Gupta also met his end.

In another case, however, it was the victimised partner who resorted to violence. A member of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Naveen Das, was burnt alive inside his car in Ghaziabad. His charred body was found on October 4 at Tila Mor-Bhopura Road. Three arrests have been made till now. Police investigation revealed that one of three accused of this ghastly murder, Tayyab, 25, was in a homosexual relationship with the victim.

Further, investigations reveal that Das used to blackmail Tayyab. They met a couple of years back at a gay party and they moved in together. Das and Tayyab, who’s an event manager, later started organising gay parties clandestinely.

Tayyab was dependent on Das who used to foot the bill. Das, as per police, forced Tayyab into a live-in relationship, which the latter wanted to end.

But he was trapped in the relationship as Das had explicit videos of Tayyab. In desperation, which was laced with hatred, Tayyab with the help of his brother Talib and friend Samar Khan hatched a plan to kill Das.

Tayyab transferred Rs 7 lakh to his account via net banking, afer which he drugged Das, then the three sprinkled petrol and set his car ablaze. “It’s not only a case of murder but also of kidnapping and robbery. The three killed Das in a brutal… pre-planned conspiracy,” Vaibhav Krishna, SSP of Ghaziabad, revealed to the media.

A research titled, ‘Intimate Partner Homicide Methods in Heterosexual, Gay, and Lesbian Relationships’ by Mize KD, deals with the effect of gender and sexual orientation with respect to the brutality of killing methods. It was hypothesized that homicide brutality will vary with the offender’s sexual orientation and gender, such that the percentage of killings coded as brutal will be higher for (a) gay and lesbian relative to heterosexual relations, (b) men relative to women, (c) gay relative to heterosexual men, and (d) lesbian relative to heterosexual women. The results support all but one prediction, that men would kill their partners more brutally than would women, but the results indicate that the opposite is true.

Last month in Mumbai, a 25- year-old Parth Raval, who was in a relationship with three men died of skull fracture when he was attacked by Dhaval Unadkat — one of his companions — with an iron candle stand, when discovered that the former was cheating on him. Both are computer engineers. According to inspector Girish Anavkar, Unadkat on visiting Raval, found him with his other lover Mohammed Asif. A scuffle ensued, and Unadkat clobbered Raval with a candle stand, fracturing his skull. According to Asif, an eyewitness, Unadkat also tried to strangle him with a wire when Raval intervened.

This year in August, around seven years after a 35-year-old man was arrested for stabbing his friend to death in Nagpada, he used the rare “gay panic defence” to get a lighter sentence. The gay panic defence, a rare legal strategy first used in US courts in the 1960s, is when a man is killed when he’s forcing the assaulter to have “unnatural sex.” The Bombay high court obliged by striking down life imprisonment to the lesser charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and sentenced him to six years and nine months imprisonment, which he had already served and ordered his release.

Then there are cases when closet gay men get married to a woman under societal pressure, which leads to a disaster as was the case in 2005, when a 31-year-old woman doctor posted at AIIMS committed suicide when she discovered her husband’s sexuality. She mentioned in her suicide note that her husband was a homosexual and on her Facebook post accused him of “cruelty and torture”. Their marriage was arranged by family.

The decriminalisation of homosexuality may bring down the stigma and with it the passion that comes from defying society that quickly translates into brutality in same sex relationships.