In a case of honour killing at Sandaur village, 30km from here, in Malerkotla subdivision, parents of a 21-year-old woman have confessed to killing her on January 10.
Though police had arrested parents of the victim, identified as Gurdeep Kaur, a Class-12 dropout, and other relatives soon after the incident and registered a case for murder and destruction of evidence against six people, during the detailed investigation police found it to be a case of honour killing.
Earlier, parents have concocted a story that they killed their daughter as she had lost her mental balance after failing to clear Class-12 exam a few years ago.
Investigating officer Harinder Singh on Saturday said during the investigation and detailed interrogation of the suspects, it came to light that the woman was having an affair with a boy of her village for the past one year.
He said all the suspects have confessed to the crime during the investigation.
The police said the woman wanted to marry the boy of her choice against the wishes of her parents and relatives.
"Her parents do not want the victim to marry the boy of her choice. They even stopped her from going to school after they came to know of her affair with a boy," the IO said.
"On the night of January 9, Gurdeep's parents and other relatives beat her up and strangulated her to death," the investigating officer said.
The suspects have been identified as the victim's father Bahadur Singh, mother Surinder Kaur, uncles Harnek Singh and Jagtar Singh and cousin Gurdeep Singh. Meanwhile, her cousins Jaspal Singh and Gurmeet Singh were at large.
The matter came to light when acting on a tip-off, a patrolling party visited the Sandaur cremation ground and enquired about a body, which was set on fire on the night of January 9.
Earlier, the parents of the victim had reportedly said Gurdeep was behaving abnormally for the past few years. They locked her in the house for several months as she used to pelt villagers with stones, they added.
The investigating officer said: "Though initially the police had no eyewitness and strong evidence against the suspects, we took bones and other remains of the victim into our possession for further investigation and to find out the exact cause of the death. During investigation, it turned out to be a case of honour killing."
The police have registered a case under Section 302 (murder) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code.