• The 12-year-old unidentified girl was found hanging on May 31
  • The parents had rejected a marriage proposal for the minor as she wanted to study
  • Primary suspect Pankaj Kale, 35, and his three relatives were arrested

A 12-year-old girl in India was allegedly murdered by her distant relatives who staged the killing as a suicide after she refused to marry a 35-year-old married man with two kids, the victim's parents claimed.

The incident happened in a village near Shikrapur, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. The unidentified victim was found hanging inside her house on May 31, and the police registered a case of accidental death, Punekar News reported.

However, the victim's parents have now come forward alleging that their daughter was killed by four suspects, who are their distant relatives. The family believes the suspects broke into their home while they were away and hung the victim to stage it as a suicide.

Based on the parent's complaint, cops arrested the primary suspect identified as Pankaj Kale, 35, and his three other family members Mayur Kale, Ajay Kale, and Haikan Kale on charges of murder.

"We were not ready to marry our daughter to the man who is a relative. She was keen to study, but he and his family were forcing us to fix their marriage. We refused the proposal and they killed her," the minor girl's father said.

Pankaj had reportedly offered money to the victim's family after they refused the marriage proposal. He allegedly threatened the family when they asked him not to follow the girl.

"My girl wanted to opt for higher studies and dreamt of becoming a government officer. We respected her wishes and supported her. All our hopes have been dashed," the child's grieving mother said.

"It is only now that they have registered a case of murder against the four people. We want justice. The police are still not investigating the case properly," she added, as reported by Pune Mirror.

Meanwhile, the cops said they are investigating the incident and have registered a case on charges of murder. "We received the post-mortem results, but the reason for death is unclear. We are looking into the case to see if it was a suicide or a homicide. We initially reported the death as an accident, but after hearing the parents’ complaints, we changed it to murder," senior investigating officer Vikram Salunke said.

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Representation. A police line. ValynPi14/Pixabay