The body of a Dalit teenage girl has been found in a field in Barabanki under Sathrik Police Station limits in Uttar Pradesh, Hindustan reported on Thursday. According to Hindustan, the teenager was 17 years old, but PTI said she was 18.

The teenager had gone to the field on Wednesday to cut crops. The police found her hands and legs tied, and said she had been killed by choking. The teenager’s father has alleged that his daughter was also raped. A huge police force, including senior police officers, has been deployed in the area.

The teenager’s father could not find her at home when he returned from his job as a labourer on Wednesday. After she did not show up even by nightfall, he went into the field to search for her. He could not find her there, but then saw her body in a nearby field. Following this, the father returned to his village and informed people there. The villagers then called the police.

The police said that the teenager had been choked using her own shirt, and her clothes were torn. “At first glance, it appears to be a case of murder,” Superintendent of Police RS Gautam said. “The body has been sent for autopsy. We will know the details of the matter only after the results arrive.”

Hathras rape and murder

Last month, there was public and political outrage over the rape and murder of a Dalit girl in Hathras town in Uttar Pradesh. The 19-year-old Dalit woman succumbed to her injuries at a hospital in Delhi on September 29, two weeks after four upper caste Thakur men raped and tortured her on September 14. The four accused in the case have been arrested.

The Central Bureau of Investigation has taken over the case from a special investigation team constituted by the Uttar Pradesh government. The state government has requested that the Supreme Court monitor the CBI investigation. It also requested the Supreme Court to direct the CBI to submit fortnightly status reports on the investigation to the state government.

The state police have also filed 19 first information reports in Hathras against unidentified persons for allegedly attempting to incite caste-based conflict. The CBI visited the crime scene in Boolgarhi village in Hathras on October 13. The woman’s brother and mother were also taken to the spot and the 15-member investigative team left after over two hours. However, on Wednesday, the family of the woman requested the Supreme Court that the trial in the case be conducted in Delhi after investigation is completed, saying that they were dissatisfied with the security afforded them by the Uttar Pradesh government.