An enraged father strangled his 17-year-old daughter to death in her sleep in India when he found out she was pregnant after being raped.
The girl, who was from Mantoli village in India's northeastern Uttarakhand state, was murdered by her father to preserve the 'family honour', according to police, adding they suspect the girl had been raped.
The girl lived with her grandparents, who discovered the pregnancy while escorting her on a hospital visit last week. They informed the father who later turned up at the grandparents' house in a state of rage, but left shortly after. He returned to the house at five in the morning and strangled the girl as she slept.
Following the murder, the next morning the father told villagers that the teen had killed herself and that he'd already buried her.
'We had been informed by the hospital on Tuesday that a teenage girl was pregnant,' the circle officer of Kapkot, Suneeta, told the Times of India.
'Therefore, it could be a case under the POSCO Act. However, when we enquired the next day, we found out the girl was already dead and buried.'
On Thursday, officers exhumed the body and interviewed the grandparents.
'We have taken the DNA sample of the foetus, and are investigating who raped the girl,' Suneeta said.
'The investigation is on and the culprits will be caught soon.The brutal murder comes just two weeks after a 14-year-old girl who fought off two rapists was burned to death when her attackers became enraged at her resistance.
The middle school student was admitted to hospital in Raipur with burns covering 80 per cent of her body. She told police the identities of her attackers on her deathbed.
Earlier last month, the raped body of a four-year-old girl was dumped in a well after she was raped and murdered in the same city of Chhatarpur.
There were some 40,000 rapes reported in India in 2016, according to the most recent official figures available.
In 2018, the Indian government buckled under public pressure and approved capital punishment for repeat offenders and for individuals who rape children under the age of 12.
Activists claim the 40,000 number is just the tip of the iceberg as many victims are afraid to report the crimes due to threats by perpetrators or the social stigma attached to sexual assaults.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, a string of violent sex attacks prompted outrage and nationwide protests.