Published:July 28, 2021
A teenager in India was allegedly publicly hanged for wearing jeans, BBC reported Wednesday.
Neha Paswan, 17, was allegedly beaten to death and then hung by male family members in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh who objected to her wearing jeans, BBC reported. Paswan’s mother, Shakuntala Devi Paswan, said her daughter’s grandfathers and uncles attacked the teenager with sticks following an argument about her clothing.
“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,” the mother told BBC Hindi.
17-year-old Neha Paswan was allegedly killed by relatives because they didn't like her wearing jeans – just one among many cases of violence against women – often sanctioned by family elders – in a society steeped in patriarchy@geetapandeyBBChttps://t.co/fGXNGf1aNT
— BBC News India (@BBCIndia) July 27, 2021
The teenager’s mother said her in-laws took the teenager to the hospital after she was unconscious. “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.”
Neha’s body was reportedly found the next morning hanging from the bridge over the Gandak river. Senior police official Shriyash Tripathi told BBC Hindi that four people, including the grandparents, an uncle and the auto driver, had been arrested and were being questioned.
Ten people in total are reportedly being investigated for murder and destruction of evidence, according to the BBC. Police are looking for the remaining suspects.
Gender activist Rolly Shivhare told the outlet that patriarchy is “among the biggest problems in India.” “The government says girls are our priority and announces grand schemes for their welfare, but nothing happens on the ground. The shelter homes and crisis centres in India are few, and most are so badly run that no one would want to go live there. Our government needs to allocate more funds and improve their condition,” Shivhare said. “But the only long-term solution is to make girls more aware of their rights.”