PILIBHIT: The two teenaged sisters who were found dead in Uttar Pradesh's Pilibhit district under mysterious circumstances were murdered by their family members, police said on Thursday, in what appears to be a case of honour killing.
The girls' mother, one of their brothers and a brick-kiln owner have been arrested, while a search is on for two other family members, police said.
One of the teenagers, aged 17 and 19, was found dead in a field at Jasauli village in Bilaspur block, around 38 km south of Pilibhit city, while the other was found hanging from a tree on Tuesday morning, police had said.
On Monday, family members saw the elder sister talking to someone over the phone, following which she was beaten up by them, Pilibhit Superintendent of Police Jaiprakash Yadav said.
At night, both the sisters were asked with whom the elder one was talking to and why, and from where they got the phone, the SP said, adding when the two did not reply, the family members killed them in a fit of rage.
They felt the elder sister's act could bring a bad name to the family as her marriage had already been fixed, the SP said.
As the family members strangled the elder sister to death, the younger one fled but was caught by her brother-in-law, following which she too was strangulated and hanged from a tree, the SP said.
The elder sister's body was later dumped by the roadside, Yadav said.
During the probe it was found that the elder sister used to talk to a brick-kiln employee Mahesh while the younger one was friendly to one Sanjeev, the SP said, adding Mahesh had given the mobile phone to the elder sister.
The family had earlier told police that the two girls had gone out to attend to nature's call on Monday night, but did not return.
The SP had suspected the family's role as they did not inform the police after finding the dead body of the younger one.
The suspects were detained and on interrogation, confessed to their crime, an officer said.
"We have arrested victim's mother Kamla Devi and elder brother Ram Pratap, while younger brother Vijay and brother-in-law Anil are on the run," Yadav said.
The brick-kiln owner was also arrested as he did not inform the police even after knowing everything, the officer said.
The family lives at Kasimpur village near a brickfield where the teenagers' father works as a labourer.