Body of a 17-year-old Dalit girl with limbs tied was found in a paddy field in a village in Barabanki, nearly 40 km from Lucknow, late on Wednesday night. Initial probe suggests that she had been strangulated, police said on Thursday. Barabanki officiating SP, RS Gautam, said the incident occurred in Tipri village under Satrikh police station limits.

“The girl was missing since she left home to cut the paddy crop. Later, her body was found lying in the field when family members reached there, searching for her on Wednesday night,” he said.

Gautam said the girl apparently had been choked with her shirt, and her clothes were torn and the case initially appeared to be of murder.

Family members told media persons that the girl’s body was found in semi-naked condition and they suspect sexual assault before murder.

The police and administration did not share the post-mortem report and have sought opinion from doctors, who carried out the post-mortem examination, over possibility of any sexual assault.

Meanwhile, two suspects were picked up for interrogation and further probe is on. A police team was camping in the village to ensure peace, said Ram Surat Sonker, CO, Barabanki Sadar.

Earlier, an FIR under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 302 for murder had been registered against unidentified people and further sections will be added, as per the investigation findings, said a senior police official.

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