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Teen’s senseless death over jeans

teen’s-senseless-death-over-jeans

Reports continue to surface of young women in India being brutally assaulted as their extended family allegedly turn on them over things as trivial as their clothes choices.

Neha Paswan, 17, died last week after allegedly being beaten to death by members of her extended family in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

The attack, which involved Neha being beaten with sticks, allegedly started because her grandfather and uncles did not like her wearing jeans.

Speaking to the BBC, her mum Shakuntala Devi Paswan said Neha was wearing jeans at home to perform a religious ritual when the argument started.

“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,” Ms Paswan told the publication.

Neha had been in her home in Savreji Kharg village in Deoria district, near the Nepalese border.

Ms Paswan said other family, not involved in the attack, called a rickshaw to try and get Neha, then unconscious, to the hospital.

However, police allege the driver of the rickshaw attempted to get rid of Neha’s body, with family finding her a day later hanging over a nearby bridge.

“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,” Ms Paswan said.

Neha was found hanging from a bridge over the Gandak river.

Ten members of Neha’s family have been charged with murder and destruction of evidence, including Neha’s grandparents, uncles, cousins and the rickshaw driver.

Ms Paswan said Neha’s grandparents often clashed with the teenager over her desire to wear more modern clothes, instead of traditional Indian clothing.

In March, thousands of women took to social media to share photos of themselves in ripped jeans after a politician’s tone-deaf comment triggered global outrage.

Tirath Singh Rawat, chief minister of the north Indian state of Uttarkhand said women wearing ripped jeans were setting a “bad example” for children.

“Kaynchi se sanskaarn (sharp manners) – showing bare knees, wearing ripped denim and looking like rich kids – these are the values being given now,” he said at an anti-substance abuse forum.

“Where is this coming from, if not at home? What is the fault of teachers or schools? Where am I taking my son, showing his knees and in tattered jeans?

“Girls are no less, showing their knees. Is this good? While the Western world follows us, doing yoga … covering their body properly. And we run towards nudity.

“What we do, our kids follow. A child who is taught the right culture at home, no matter how modern he becomes, will never fail in life.”

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