In a suspected case of honour killing, the 18-year-old daughter of an Akali sarpanch's supporter died under mysterious circumstances at her house in Talwandi Choudhriyan village on Monday night.
The family members, in the presence of other villagers, hurriedly cremated the body at 8am on Tuesday despite a warning by a police officer, who reached there after getting a complaint of honour killing.
Village sources said Rupinder Kaur (18) had an affair with a resident of Dhunda village in Amritsar district and she reportedly eloped with him and got married a few days ago.
"The girl's father, Arwinder Singh, who stays in Dubai (UAE), returned last week. The family members, who were against her relationship, went to Dhunda and managed to bring her back with the assurance that they would re-arrange her marriage with dignity," a villager said on the condition of anonymity.
"We came to know about her death on Tuesday morning. Family members claimed that she died due to electrocution while ironing clothes. The family had arranged her marriage on July 24, but she was not ready to marry as per her parents' wishes," he added.
A villager reported the incident to the police control room. Assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Jagdish Singh was deputed to visit the spot, police sources said.
"When I reached there, family members were gathered in the cremation ground. I warned them not to light the pyre, but somebody poured kerosene on it and set it ablaze," the ASI said, registering his statement in the FIR. Kerosene was allegedly poured by the girl's father and maternal uncle.
Kapurthala senior superintendent of police (SSP) Inderbir Singh said, "The cremation took place in the morning under suspicious circumstances. A thorough investigation would be done to unearth the truth."
The police have registered a case against unidentified persons under sections 302 (murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code.