‘Case of honour killing’: Police on Gaya minor girl who was found beheaded

Hindustan Times, Patna | By
Jan 10, 2019 11:41 PM IST

Gaya’s senior superintendent of police said they got an indication of foul play by the family when they questioned the victim’s younger sister, who said she had seen her last with her father’s friend, Leela Patwa, a butcher, on December 31, 2018

The Gaya police Thursday claimed to have solved the mystery of the brutal killing of a 16-year-old minor girl, whose beheaded body was recovered on January 6 , and said her family killed her out of a misguided sense of shame.

Police initially said it was suspected it to be a case of rape and murder. However, her postmortem reports did show signs of rape of the minor girl.(PTI File Photo/Representative image)
Police initially said it was suspected it to be a case of rape and murder. However, her postmortem reports did show signs of rape of the minor girl.(PTI File Photo/Representative image)

“It’s a case of honour killing. 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,” said Gaya senior superintendent of police Rajiv Kumar Mishra. The parents and the butcher have been arrested and they have confessed, he said.

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Over the last few days, news of the murder went viral on social media with people across cities commenting on the horrific incident and seeking justice. On Wednesday, hundreds of residents of Gaya took to the streets demanding the arrest of the killers. They have been protesting against the murder since a week.

At the time, the sense was that this was an incident similar to the gangrape and murder of a physiotherapy student in New Delhi in December 2012, but eventually, the perpetrators proved to be the victim’s own family. Mishra said conflicting statements of the girl’s family raised suspicions of foul play by the family itself; they confessed when interrogated.

Gaya’s Buniyadganj police recovered the minor’s beheaded and mutilated body from a field in the Joda Masjid-Baksaria Tola locality. Her severed head was found in another field, five kilometers away. Both the body and face were mutilated.

Police say they initially suspected a rape and murder, but started looking at other angles after a post-mortem ruled out rape. At the time, the parents claimed the girl was missing since December 28. Her father Turaj Prasad, in his FIR lodged on January 4, alleged that the girl could have been abducted. “We went to several places and searched our relatives’ homes but to no avail. She could have been abducted while going to meet a friend on the evening of December 28,” he said.

Police’s first break came when the victim’s younger sister said she last saw the girl with their father’s friend, a butcher, on December 31. Two teams were made for the probe. The victim’s three siblings who said the girl went to a place unknown to them on December 28 and returned three days later. The sisters did not appear before the other team.

“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. Their dubious attempt to escape interrogation further confirmed our suspicions . In the meantime, we picked up the butcher, who narrated the entire incident,” the SSP said.

The Patwa panchayat, the SSP said, socially boycotts people who marry or have affairs with people from other communities. Locals said it is an unwritten diktat for local girls not to elope. On Thursday, a stony silence prevailed in the panchayat. No panchayat member was available to speak to HT.

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    Avinash, a senior correspondent, reports on crime, railways, defence and social sector, with specialisation in police, home department and other investigation agencies.

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