A father, Sarvesh Kumar decapitated his 17-year-old daughter and carried her head through the streets because he reportedly did not approve of her boyfriend.
Kumar told police he had attacked his daughter with an axe on Wednesday, 3 March, in anger over her relationship with a man.
“I did it, there was no one else. I closed the latch and did it. The body is in the room”, he said.
He also claimed that he would have killed her boyfriend too if he was able to find him.
“He said he saw his daughter in a compromising position with a man and he beheaded her in a fit of rage,” Anurag Vats, the police superintendent of Hardoi district in northern Uttar Pradesh state said.
“He has confessed to his crime,” he said.
Images of the Kumar carrying the girl’s head were shared widely on social media, reigniting demands from women’s campaigners for a specific law against honour killings to help protect potential victims and improve police investigations.
According to NDTV, Kumar was arrested by police and taken into custody. His wife was also arrested for her alleged involvement in the crime.
Police found the body of his daughter at the family home and have sent it for a post-mortem examination.
Human rights groups say thousands of women and girls are killed across South Asia and the Middle East each year by family members angered at perceived damage to their ‘honour’.
Perceived offences can include eloping, fraternising with men or any transgression of conservative values regarding women.
“Daughters in India are seen as a sign of family honour, which results in such crimes,” said Madhu Garg, the vice president of All India Democratic Women Association’s Uttar Pradesh chapter.
“The issue of the right to choice needs immediate attention and a separate law should be made for dealing with honour killing.”
India recorded 24 honour killings in 2019. Two years earlier, Uttar Pradesh registered 14 of the country’s 92 such killings, the government’s crime data shows.
Campaigners say government statistics on honour killing mask the scale of the crime, with women at greater risk than men.
“Almost 70 percent of the victims in honour killings are women, and almost all of them are from the upper caste,” said Arockiya Samy Kathir, the founder of non-profit Evidence, which has for years worked on honour killings in south India.