A teenage Indian girl was killed by family members and then hanged from a bridge for wearing jeans, it was claimed.
Neha Paswan, 17, was reportedly beaten to death by her grandfather and uncles after refusing to change into jeans and traditional clothing during a religious holiday.
His body was found hanging from a nearby bridge in northern Uttar Pradesh state the next morning.
Her mother Shakuntala Devi Paswan told the BBC: “She observed a one-day religious fast. In the evening, she puts on jeans and a top and performs her rituals.
“When her grandparents objected to her dress, Neha retorted that the jeans were meant to be worn and that she would wear them. “
Neha Paswan, 17, was killed by family members and hanged from a bridge for wearing jeans
She claimed that the extended family had often complained about Neha’s dress which they deemed “inappropriate” and were angry when they refused to wear traditional clothes.
On the night of Neha’s death, the argument allegedly escalated and resulted in the teen being beaten with sticks and rods at their home in Savreji Kharg village in Deoria.
Shakuntala Devi said the perpetrators then called an autorickshaw and claimed they were taken unconscious to Neha at the hospital for treatment.
She said, “They didn’t want me to go with them, so I alerted my relatives who went to the district hospital looking for her but couldn’t find her. ”
The next morning, rumors circulated about the body of a girl hanging from a bridge over the Gandak River – it was Neha’s.
Her mother Shakuntala Devi Paswan (right) said the extended family had often complained about Neha’s outfit which they deemed “inappropriate” and were angry when they refused to wear traditional clothes.
Police have launched a murder investigation into 10 people believed to be involved in Neha’s death, including her grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins.
The rickshaw driver was also arrested for helping dispose of the body.
The grandparents and uncles have been detained by officers looking for the six remaining fugitives.
No public statement has been made by any of the accused to date.
Shakuntala Devi added that Neha hoped to become a police officer but “her dreams would never come true now”.
The teenager’s father, Amarnath Paswan, a construction worker in Ludhiana, returned home to help cope with the tragedy.