A 16-year-old girl was confined to a room and set alight by her close relations in her own home as punishment for running away with a co-villager she has allegedly developed intimacy with.
The girl died of severe burns at a hospital to which she was taken by the police on being informed by her neighbours. The perpetrators of the incident had escaped from the scene after torching her.
In another twist to this macabre tale, the police had to perform the victim's last rites as none of girl's relatives turned up after her autopsy to claim her body.
Police said the victim's grandmother had named her husband, the girl's grandfather, as one of the main accused in the case. The girl's father, who is mentally challenged, is not believed to have played any role in the matter.
The 'honour' killing took place late Sunday night at the victim's native Sonbarsha village under Karnamepur police out post in Bhojpur district of south central Bihar, about 100 km west of the state capital, Patna.
But thanks to the remoteness of Sonbarsha, located about 40 km west of the district headquarters town of Ara, it was only early Thursday that the police came out with the gory details of the killing.
"The victims's grandmother (Tetra Devi) has named her husband and the girl's grandfather (Ramji Mishra), as a prime accused in the case", said Jadgishpur sub divisional police officer (SDPO) Anjani Kumar.
The police were conducting raids to nab the accused persons but all them continued to be at large, Kumar, under whose jurisdiction, Sonbarsha falls, told HT Thursday afternoon.
The SDPO said the victim's autopsy was done at the Ara sadar hospital on Monday but even though her family members were informed, none of them turned up to claim her body. As such, the police had to get it cremated.
Karnamepur SHO Praveen Deo said the girl's family was aggrieved over her alleged affair with a 25-year-old co-villager.
"Four days prior to the incident, the victim had gone missing. Her kin managed to locate her whereabouts, brought her home and set her ablaze after dousing her with kerosene", he told HT Thursday.
Deo said the badly burnt girl died at a hospital at Shahpur, also in Bhojpur.
Reached Thursday morning, Pawan Mishra, a co-villager of the victim said her kin were very angry with her for bringing a 'bad name' to the family "especially as it was already ostracized" in the village.
He said in the mid-1980s, a younger brother of the victim's grandfather was caught in physical proximity with a young girl, who later committed suicide. This led to years of social boycott of the family.
"Just when people had begun re-establishing contact with the family, the girl did something, the family members felt, had again brought bad name to the family", Mishra told HT.
According to the Karnamepur SHO, the victim's mother mostly lived at her parents' home at Parshurampur under Krishnagarh police station of Bhojpur "probably because her husband, the girl's father, was mentally challenged".