Unidentified men on Friday allegedly gangraped and killed a 12-year-old Adivasi girl in Jharkhand’s Dumka district, PTI reported. The body of the girl, a class 5 student, was found behind a bush near Chidi village in Ramgarh police station area, the police said.

“Prima facie, it seems the girl was gangraped and murdered,” Superintendent of Police Amber Lakra said. “But this can be confirmed only after receiving the postmortem examination report.”

Sub-Divisional Police Officer Animesh Naithani said a special investigation team has been formed to look into the incident, according to The New Indian Express. The police said that they have found several pieces of evidence from the spot.

The family members of the girl said that she had gone to tuition classes on her bicycle in the morning. When she did not return on time, they started a search and found her bicycle near a temple outside the village. The girl’s body was found in the bushes.

This is the third such incident from the state in the past week. On October 10, five men allegedly gangraped and killed another Class 5 girl in Gumla district. The next day, another minor girl, who had gone out with her friend, was allegedly gangraped and killed when returning to her village in Sahibganj.

CM Hemant Soren orders strict action

Former Chief Minister Raghubar Das attacked the Jharkhand government over the incident and the lack of women’s safety. “It is really shameful that there has been an increase in incidents of rape and murder of minor girls in Jharkhand, which is really frightening,” Das said. “Right from a four-year-old girl to the Sadhvi, no one is safe in this state.”

In a tweet, Chief Minister Hemant Soren promised that strict action would be taken against the culprits soon. In response to Das’ allegations, the chief minister said that his state was Jharkhand and not Uttar Pradesh, in reference to the Hathras gangrape.

“There would no conspiracy here to hide failure by burning [the body of a rape victim] by igniting it on fire by petrol in the dead of night,” he said. “Reporters and others who are highlighting the failures of the government by raising their voices will not be tortured.” Soren added that the station in-charge of the area concerned has been fired.

The chief minister also directed officials to take strict action against the accused in the case. “Jharkhand Police and District Administrations should also ensure that strict punishment must be given to the culprits through fast track courts after investigating the matter properly,” Soren said on Twitter.

The chief minister was referring to the Hathras gangrape incident in Uttar Pradesh where four upper caste men had tortured and raped a 19-year-old Dalit woman. The Uttar Pradesh government had then forcibly cremated the body of the woman even as her family was detained in their home by the police. 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 police have also filed 19 first information reports in Hathras against unidentified persons for allegedly attempting to incite caste-based conflict.