A Deadly calm prevails in the tiny village of Garhia, 15 kilometres off Bulandshahr in the rural belt of western Uttar Pradesh. Through the quiet of the village, dominated by the Lodha Rajputa community, a backward caste, one can only hear whispers — that of how a father beat his 12-year-old daughter to death to “save his honour”.
The victim’s grandmother, Natho (60), told Newsline that her sons killed Mamta after they found a boy, Pintu (14), her schoolmate, in her room late on Friday night. Father Jagdish Singh and his brother Soni Singh then allegedly burnt her body and dumped it in a well.
The police are, however, yet to recover the body and have registered a case of murder against Singh and his two brothers, who are at large.
Natho said Mamta was dear to her, but what she did was “unacceptable” and that she “deserved” the punishment. “How could she let a boy into her room?”
“We were sleeping and were supposed to wake early because there was a wedding in the family. Around 9.30 pm, I heard a noise and went to Mamta’s room. I saw Pintu there. Seeing the boy, her father and uncles got angry and started beating her up. The beating continued till she died,” Natho said with a straight face.
“I had taken care of the girl since she was nine days old,” Natho said. “Her mother had lost her mental balance after her birth. But Mamta did a wrong thing and I will not do any kriya (last rites) for her. I am now worried about my sons.”
Mamta’s mother does not live with the family. Her father had remarried and has three minor children from his second wife.
According to Natho, Pintu, who lives next door, had managed to escape initially after he was found in Mamta’s room, but was tracked and beaten up. “We would have killed him too, but the villagers came and stopped us,” said Sarvesh, Mamta’s sister.
Pintu has been admitted to the Bulandshahr District Hospital with severe injuries. His family, however, claimed he sustained the injuries in an accident. “He fell off his motorcycle while returning home from a wedding,” said Bishi, his grandmother.
Mamta and Pintu studied in Janta Adarsh Inter College, Garhia-Manpur.
Bulandshahr SSP Rajkumar Singh said: “We haven’t found the girl’s body yet. But based on the villagers’ account, we have charged the girl’s father and uncles with murder and are trying to trace her body.”