'Cold-blooded murder'

Teenager whose mutilated body prompted protests was victim of honor killing, police say

(DIPTENDU DUTTA/AFP/Getty Images)

The death of an teenager whose body was found dismembered and mutilated on Sunday has been ruled an honor killing by Indian police. Pictures of the 16-year-old victim’s mutilated body, which media reports claimed was also doused in acid, had spread widely on social media and prompted protests and vigils in her home city of Gaya.

After the teenager was first reported missing by the victim’s family on December 28, the family went on to claim that she had been raped and murdered and accused police of failing to conduct a proper search for her. But on Thursday, police said that evidence indicated that it was the girls’ parents who were actually responsible for the brutal killing.

“It’s a case of honor killing,” said Gaya police chief Rajiv Kumar Mishra, noting that the post-mortem had found no evidence of rape. “The girl eloped with someone on December 28 from her home in Patwa Panchayat but returned after three days. This angered the parents, who plotted the cold-blooded murder with the help of a butcher friend.”

According to Mishra, the victim’s sister told authorities that she had last seen her sister with the butcher on December 31.

“After the recovery of the body, we called the parents to the police station several times to record their statements, but they made lame excuses and didn’t show up,” Mishra continued. “Their dubious attempt to escape interrogation further confirmed our suspicions. In the meantime we picked up the butcher who narrated the entire incident.”

In 2016, there were 69 honor killings in India according to country’s National Crime Records Bureau, but activists say that the true number of such killings is likely significantly higher.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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