The husband of an inter-caste marriage in southern India was hacked to death in public Sunday in a suspected "honor killing." His wife, from a higher caste, was critically injured in the fracas and is recovering in a hospital.

Police said Monday the 22-year-old man from the Dalit caste was attacked by three men armed with sickles and sharp weapons.

A local police commissioner said the family of the 19-year-old wife, from the Thevars Hindu caste, was angry about the couple's marriage.

The couple had received death threats from the wife's family from the day they married, according to The Times of India.

Thevars are a dominant community in Tamil Nadu while Dalits, formerly known as untouchables, are a historically marginalized community.

Honor killing is a traditional practice in some countries of killing a family member who is believed to have brought shame on the family by having a relationship with or marrying someone of a different religion or caste.

The Times of India reports that no one stepped in to help the couple when they were attacked at a crowded bus stop. 

Police said the couple met at an engineering college.