An eight-year-old Dalit girl, who had gone missing after she went to graze cattle, is suspected to have been strangled to death after being raped in a village in Rajasthan's Jhalawar district, police said Wednesday.
The deceased, a Class III student, was missing since Tuesday night and her body was found in a mustard field in her village on Wednesday. Prima facie, the girl was strangulated and she was also raped, a police officer said.
There were no visible injury marks on her body except a slight scratch on her chest. She lived with her maternal grandparents in a village, said Station House Officer (SHO) Radha Kishan.
After coming from school on Tuesday, she went to graze cattle near her home with other children of the village, but when she did not return home till late in the evening, her family members started looking for her, the SHO said.
Her body was spotted the next morning in the mustard field, about 200 to 300 metres away from her home, the officer said.
Police is suspecting a 20-year-old youth of the same village, who attempted suicide by holding live electric wire in the morning after the girl's body was recovered. He was rescued in time and is undergoing medical treatment in a hospital, the SHO said.
The youth became a key suspect as he was drunk and was spotted near the minor girl on Tuesday evening. He could not not be interrogated as he was still unconscious, the officer said.
A case has been registered under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, he said.
The body has been handed over to the family members after post-mortem, he added.