Even as Patwatoli residents claimed that the police theory of “honour killing” of a 16-year-old girl was incorrect, a police team led by Magadh Range DIG Vinay Kumar visited the girl’s house on Saturday and appealed to villagers to provide all CCTV footage of the area so that they can gather evidence that cannot be disputed. Opposition parties also targeted the state government and police over the incident.
A delegation of the weavers’ community had met the DIG demanding an investigation into the murder by an independent special investigation team without any local police officers. Patwatoli residents, who have stopped work at their handloom units, affecting 45,000 workers, also protested against the police for “rushing through the investigation and calling it honour killing without waiting for postmortem report”.
DIG Kumar told Patwatoli residents: “We have got CCTV footage in which the girl is seen passing through a street (on December 28). We want you to provide us CCTV footage of all adjoining routes in 360-degree angle of the girl’s house. We will approach the case with an open mind and hear what you are saying. Let us come up with evidence which cannot be disputed and is legally sound…” The DIG spoke to the girl’s family, including her mother.
The decapitated and mutilated body of the girl, who went missing on December 28, was found on January 6. According to the girl’s family and other residents, the girl did not return home after she went missing. They also claimed that the police pressured the girl’s sister to say that she “returned on December 31 and was killed by her parents”. The sister told The Indian Express that she was “threatened with electric shocks to call it an honour killing”. The police have arrested the girl’s father and his friend.
Vastra Udyog and Bunkar Sewa Samiti, Manpur, representative Premnarayan Patwa said: “For the first time the police gave us a patient hearing. We only want them not to frame any innocent person… We will cooperate with the investigation.” The postmortem report is expected by Monday.