An 18-year-old girl from Chhattisgarh died by suicide in September, after she was sold seven times in a span of seven months to people in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh last year, NDTV reported on Monday, quoting the police.

Eight men have been arrested in connection with the case, which is being investigated by the police of three states Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Besides the eight accused, a man with mental illness, identified as Babloo Kushwah, to whom the girl was forcibly married, was yet to be traced, the police said.

The teen, a resident of Jashpur in Chhattisgarh, used to help her father in farming activities. She was abducted from Chhatarpur district in Madhya Pradesh, when a distant relative took her there to help her find a job.

The incident came to light after the men who abducted the girl from Jashpur called up her parents, and demanded money. The kidnappers threatened to kill the girl if the parents did not pay the amount.

The family informed the police about the ransom call, following which they began to investigate the matter. Interrogation of two of the arrested persons, one Pancham Singh Rai and his wife, revealed that they had brought the girl from Jashpur to Chhatarpur, on the pretext of a job, senior police officer Sachin Sharma told NDTV.

They sold her for Rs 20,000 to a local in Chhatarpur seven months ago. The last person to buy the girl was Santosh Kushwah, a local from Lalitpur in Uttar Pradesh, who paid Rs 70,000, the police said. Later, the teen was forcibly married to Babloo Kushwah. She died by suicide in Lalitpur in September last year.

The Chhatarpur police were now investigating the possibility of more girls from tribal areas of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh being trafficked by the accused in other states.