A young woman's charred body was found in Bihar's Buxar district which had triggered speculation of rape and murder, turned out to be a case of honour killing and the main accused, the father of the victim, has been arrested, a top police official claimed on Tuesday.
Deputy Inspector General of Police, Shahabad Range, Rakesh Rathi said that Mahendra Gupta, a retired army man and resident of Dinara in Bhabhua, the headquarter of Kaimur district, was arrested on Tuesday afternoon, a day after the victim was identified by her mother and brother.
"After the recovery of the woman's body in Itarhi police station area of Buxar last week, we were facing the problem of ascertaining her identity since the corpse was charged and nobody was coming forward with a missing report which could give us a clue", Mr Rathi told PTI over phone.
"The Dinara SHO, in the meantime, got the information that a woman hailing from the locality who got married last year had been missing ever since she eloped with her paramour and her family members, moved by shame, had got their son-in-law married to their younger daughter", he added.
Subsequently, the brother and mother of the woman were picked up for interrogation and shown the sandals and the toe ring worn by the deceased.
"They confirmed that they belonged to their elder daughter. They also said that her father had been seething with rage ever since she eloped, his fury getting worse by taunts of neighbours and he had been vowing that once caught, he will not spare her", the senior police officer said.
He also said Mahendra Gupta, who had been hiding since he killed his daughter on the night of December 2, had confessed that the cartridge found close to the body was fired from his weapon and that he had set the body ablaze after pulling the trigger on his child.
The body was found in the fields in a village under Itarhi police station on December 3 and comes close on the heels of the rape and murder of a young veterinary doctor in Hyderabad. The incident had fueled speculation that it was a case of a similar nature.
Villagers who had seen the body aflame from a distance had told police that since the incident took place at night they mistook it for somebody lighting a bonfire to fight the winter chill.