In a suspected "honour killing" case reported in a village in northern India, a 20-year-old girl was allegedly choked to death by her uncle in the presence of her parents.
The parents were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the crime, but the accused uncle — identified as Jaswant — is absconding, police said on Friday (27 October).
The parents — Vedpal and wife Moni Devi — disapproved of their daughter, Vandana, dating a man from a neighbouring village and had asked her to end the relationship. However, she continued to contact and meet the man, police said in a report, citing villagers.
The victim's family tried to project her death as a suicide, but villagers suspected she was killed for the family's honour, police added.
The family was from Sarheti village in Jhajjhar district, of Haryana state. Vedpal is an Army veteran now working as a police head constable with the New Delhi police, the Times of India reported, citing a police report.
"On the intervening night of October 24 and 25, Vandana's maternal uncle and parents again asked her not to meet the boy in the future. When she refused to listen to them, the uncle allegedly strangulated her at around 1.30am," read the report.
Vedpal and his wife were produced before a local court on Thursday. They have reportedly confessed to killing their daughter and regretted the act. They were sent to jail as the manhunt continued for the accused uncle.
"During interrogation, they were crying and appeared remorseful," sub-inspector Satbir Singh, the investigating officer, told the publication.
"Both repeatedly said they tried to give everything to their daughter but she had gone out of their hands. The uncle, who was called by the family to persuade her to stay [away] from the boy, perpetrated the crime in the presence of the parents."
All the three accused were charged with murder and criminal conspiracy.