Neha Paswan was reportedly severely beaten with sticks by her grandfather and uncles after an argument over her Western clothing in northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
Her tragic death comes as there has been a frightening catalog of reports of girls and young women being brutally assaulted by family members in this Asian country.
Neha’s heartbroken mother, Shakuntala Devi Paswan, told the BBC: “She observed a one-day religious fast. In the evening, she put on jeans and a top and performed her rituals. When her grandparents objected to her dress, Neha retorted that the jeans were made to be worn and that she would wear them.
The grieving relative said older family members objected to her “Western clothing” which they considered “inappropriate” and insisted that she was wearing more traditional clothing.
She said an argument broke out and her daughter was violently assaulted and while the teenager was unconscious, her in-laws called an autorickshaw to take her to the hospital.
“They didn’t let me go with them so I alerted my relatives who went to the district hospital looking for her but couldn’t find her,” she said.
The next morning, distraught parents learned that a girl’s body hung from a bridge over the Gandak River.
The body was Neha’s.
A murder investigation has been opened by police and Neha’s grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and the driver of the car were among 10 people who were arrested and questioned.
The rickshaw driver is accused by the police of having tried to get rid of the body.
Photos of Neha show the teenager liked to wear modern clothes.
Neha’s father, Amarnath Paswan, a construction worker in Ludhiana, said he worked hard to be able to send his children to school.
The tragic teenager had wanted to become a police officer, but her mother said “her dreams would never come true now”.
Women and girls in small towns and rural India are often dictated by village chiefs or family patriarchs as to what to wear.