A 17-year-old girl was allegedly beaten to death and hung by her extended family in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India because she was wearing jeans.
According to the BBC, Neha Paswan was beaten to death by her grandfather and uncles after getting into an argument about her wearing jeans.
Neha had just finished a day-long fast, according to her mother, Shakuntala Devi Paswan. When she changed into jeans, her extended family disapproved of it and an argument ensued.
“She had kept a day-long religious fast,” Neha’s mother said. “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.”
The altercation then turned violent, with Neha’s family bludgeoning her and then lying about taking her to the hospital.
“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,” the girl’s mother explained. But she never found Neha, and later her body turned up hanging from the bridge over the Gandak river. Police are currently investigating cases of murder and destruction of evidence against 10 people, including Neha’s grandparents, uncles, cousins, aunts, and an auto rickshaw driver.
Neha’s mother explained that she had plans to be a police officer but that the strict family she was raised in disapproved of it. Neha is only the most recent case of women being assaulted in different regions of India that are tightly bound by patriarchy.
Gender activist Rolly Shivhare told the BBC that “It’s shocking that in the 21st Century, we are killing and assaulting girls for wearing jeans or talking on a mobile phone.”
None of the suspects in Neha Paswan’s case have made a statement yet.