A 55-year-old Dalit government official and his wife were found murdered in their home in Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh district on Monday, The Times of India reported.

Ram Nagina, an accountant in the Consolidation Department in Mau district, and his 52-year-old wife Mansha Devi, were sleeping when some unidentified criminals barged into their home in Tithaupur village late on Sunday night and escaped after murdering them.

“A sharp-edged weapon has been used to kill the couple,” Azamgarh Superintendent of Police Anurag Arya said. “The police are investigating to know the cause of their killing and have lodged an FIR [first information report] against unidentified miscreants. The bodies have been sent for postmortem.”

The couple’s neighbours informed the police about their killing on Monday morning.

The incident came to light days after four members of a Scheduled Caste family were found murdered in the state’s Prayagraj district.

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati asked the Adityanath-led state government to immediately take strict action against those responsible for the couple’s murder.

“It’s an extremely shocking, painful and condemnable incident of the murder of a Dalit couple by slashing of their throats in Azamgarh district within days after the Prayagraj killings,” she said.

Citing the postmortem report in the Prayagraj case, the police on Monday said that father and son were killed with an axe that was seized from the crime spot, while the mother had been hit on the head with a blunt object and the daughter had been strangulated, The Print reported.

“There was male discharge on her [the daughter’s] genitals,” Prayagraj Senior Superintendent of Police Sarvashresth Tripathi added. “The doctors have indicated rape. We have sent the DNA samples to a forensic lab for further investigation.”

Relatives of the family had also alleged that the girl had been raped before being killed. They had accused a neighbouring upper-caste family for the crime.