Police in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh have arrested a man accused of murdering and beheading his daughter in Hardoi district.
Sarvesh Kumar was detained as he walked towards a police station carrying the head of his 17-year-old child on Wednesday, Indian media are reporting.
Alarmed at the sight of the man walking along carrying a severed head, local people alerted the police.
Police recorded a video in which Kumar tells them that he was enraged by his daughter’s alleged affair with a man he did not like. He says that he had recently found out about this daughter’s relationship and that had made him very angry.
He is heard saying that he found her alone at home, locked her in a room and beheaded her with a sharp object. He told the police that he had left the body and the murder weapon “in the room”.
Police say they are investigating.
A police officer has been suspended after a photograph emerged of him carrying the girl’s severed head “inappropriately”.
Hundreds of women are killed each year for falling in love or marrying against their families’ wishes in India.
Last year, the state of Uttar Pradesh, where Wednesday’s murder took place, topped the list of Indian states with the highest number of crimes against women, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.
Murders committed by family members for related women being in an unapproved relationship, or “honour killings”, occur regularly, particularly in rural areas.
There are no reliable figures but campaigners say hundreds of honour crimes take place every year in India.
In 2011, the Supreme Court said that anyone convicted of honour killings should face the death penalty, but age-old notions of tradition and family honour are still deeply entrenched in many parts of Indian society.
Many victims anger their families by marrying outside their caste or religion and often these crimes against them are endorsed, or even encouraged, by village-based caste councils.