Girl, 17, ‘beaten to death by relatives and hanged from bridge’ for wearing jeans during religious ritual in India
- Indian teenager Neha Paswan was beaten to death by her grandfather and her uncles
- Paswan (17) was found hanging from a bridge in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh
- Her family had often complained about her ‘inappropriate’ Western clothing
An Indian teenager was killed by members of her family and then hanged from a bridge for wearing jeans, it is alleged.
Neha Paswan, 17, was reportedly beaten to death by her grandfather and uncles after refusing to put on jeans and traditional clothes at a religious festival.
Her body was found the next morning hanging from a nearby bridge in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
Her mother Shakuntala Devi Paswan told the BBC: ‘She had fasted religiously for a day. In the evenings she put on jeans and a top and performed her rituals.
“When her grandparents objected to her clothing, Neha replied that jeans are made to be worn and that she would wear them.”
Neha Paswan (17) was murdered by members of her family and then hung from a bridge for wearing jeans
She claimed the extended family had often complained about Neha’s clothing that they found “inappropriate” and were angry when she refused to wear traditional clothing.
On the night of Neha’s death, the feud reportedly escalated and led to the teen being beaten with sticks and rods at their home in Deoria’s Savreji Kharg village.
Shakuntala Devi said the perpetrators then called an auto rickshaw and claimed they had taken Neha unconscious to hospital for treatment.
She said, “They wouldn’t let me go, so I warned my relatives who went to the district hospital to look 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 belonged to Neha.
Her mother Shakuntala Devi Paswan (right) said the extended family had often complained about Neha’s clothing, deeming it “inappropriate” and angry when she refused to wear traditional clothing.
Police have opened a murder investigation into 10 people allegedly involved in Neha’s death, including her grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins.
The rickshaw driver was also arrested for helping to dispose of the body.
The grandparents and uncles were detained by officers looking for the six remaining fugitives.
So far, none of the suspects has made a public statement.
Shakuntala Devi added that Neha hoped to become a police officer but that “her dreams would never come true now.”
The teen’s father, Amarnath Paswan, a construction site worker in Ludhiana, has returned home to help deal with the tragedy.