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17-Year-Old Girl Allegedly Beaten To Death By Grandfather And Uncles For Wearing Jeans

17-Year-Old Girl Allegedly Beaten To Death By Grandfather And Uncles For Wearing Jeans

The victim was identified as 17-year-old Neha Paswan who lived in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh with her family.

Cover image source: YouTube | BBC News Hindi

Trigger Warning: This story contains graphic footage and details of murder that readers may find disturbing.

A teenager in India was allegedly beaten to death by her family for wearing jeans. The victim was identified as 17-year-old Neha Paswan, who lived in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh with her family. According to BBC, Neha was severely assaulted by members of her extended family just because they did not approve of her attire.

Speaking to the news outlet, her mother Shakuntala Devi Paswan opened up about the brutal incident that led to Neha's untimely, tragic death. Apparently, the girl had gotten into an argument with her grandfather and uncles over her choice of clothing at home. Instead of handling it maturely, the men resorted to violently beating the teenager with sticks until her body could no longer take the abuse. 



 

 

"She had kept a day-long religious fast. In the evening, she put on a pair of jeans and a top and performed her rituals. When her grandparents objected to her attire, Neha retorted that jeans were made to be worn and that she would wear it," recalled Shakuntala Devi. The incident took place at the girl's home in Savreji Kharg village in Deoria district, a fairly rural region of the state. 

As the argument escalated, the girl's grandparents and uncles became violent. The heartbroken mother remembers her daughter lying unconscious on the floor. Soon her in-laws called an autorickshaw to their place and assured Shakuntala Devi that they were taking the teen to the hospital. When she expressed her wish to accompany them, she was denied to do so. "They wouldn't let me accompany them so I alerted my relatives who went to the district hospital looking for her but couldn't find her," she explained.



 

 

Despite her relatives searching for the girl in a nearby hospital, she was not found and tension grew. The following morning, the mother received the word about a lifeless body of a girl hanging from the bridge over river Gandak that flows through the region. Shakuntala Devi prayed and hoped that it wasn't Neha's corpse but sadly the reality was something no parent should ever have to face.

After the girl's body was found, police were alerted. They eventually lodged a case of murder and destruction of evidence against 10 of Neha's family members, including her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and the auto driver. When the crime occurred, the girl's father Amarnath Paswan was in Ludhiana, a town in the northern state of Punjab, where he worked as a day laborer. 



 

 

Hearing about the tragedy, he immediately returned home and shared how hard he worked to send his kids, including Neha, to school. The deceased wished to be a police officer, but "her dreams would never be realized now," shared her mother. She also revealed how her in-laws would often pressurize Neha to quit school and berate her for wearing anything but traditional Indian clothes. The teenager loved wearing modern outfits but her extended family did not approve of it.

Campaigners in the area said that such violence against women and girls perpetuates within closed doors to this day and is mostly a result of a society that is submerged in patriarchy. Such assaults are often sanctioned by the elders in the family, who are actually supposed to protect them. Moreover, domestic violence is rampant in the country with 20 women being killed on an average every day just for bringing in insufficient dowry. 



 

 

For women and girls in small, rural towns, life is harder as they are severely restricted by village heads or family patriarchs. They often dictate what a girl should be wearing, where she can and cannot go, and even the people she talks to. Even the slightest perceived slip is considered to be a provocation from their ends and for that, they are punished. 



 

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