A nine-year-old girl was allegedly raped and murdered by unidentified persons in Jharkhand's East Singhbhum district, police said on Wednesday.
The girl went out in search of her lost cattle on Tuesday evening but did not return home. The body of the girl was found in a field some distance away from her home Wednesday morning, the police said.
A police team rushed to the spot on being informed of the incident and recovered the body, which was sent for post-mortem in government-run Hospital, said Officer-in-charge of Potka police station, Jitendra Ram.
Prima facie, it seemed to be a case of rape and murder, he said adding that raids were being carried out to arrest the culprits even though the identity of the offenders were yet to be established, he said.
Based on the light ligature mark detected around the victim's neck, police suspect that she was strangulated after she was raped.
"We can confirm whether it was a case of rape and murder only after receiving the post-mortem report," Officer Ram said.