Guwahati, Sep 15 (IANS) In a shocking incident at a remote tea garden area at Koilamari Balijan in Assams Lakhimpur district, the body of a tribal youth -- Biki Bishal (20) -- was found hanging from a tree, the police said on Thursday.
The local people and Bishal's family members claimed that he was found with multiple wounds on Wednesday. It is alleged that Bishal was killed for not agreeing to convert to Christianity in order to marry his tribal girlfriend.
Though the police are yet to confirm whether the youth was killed or committed suicide, they have arrested five people in connection with the case.
The detainees include Bishal's girlfriend's father, two relatives and two officials of a local church in the area.
The victim's family has alleged that Bishal was called by someone from his girlfriend's family to her village on September 11 and had been missing since then.
"Bishal was killed and hanged since there was pressure on him to convert to his girlfriend's religion if he wished to marry her," a family member of the victim said.
Locals and the family members also said that Bishal and his girlfriend had eloped earlier this month as they wanted to get married, and subsequently Bishal had brought the girl to his home on September 3.
On September 6, the girl's family members, accompanied by some church officials, came to Bishal's house and allegedly took the girl away forcefully against her will.
The family members and villagers protested outside the local police station on Thursday, demanding justice for Bishal's family.