The body of a 50-year-old woman was found naked with hilt mark injuries in a village in Uttar Pradesh's Banda district, police said on Tuesday.
The family members of the woman have alleged rape before murder.
The victim had taken some goats for grazing in a forest on Monday, police official Mahendra Pratap Singh Chauhan said, adding her body was found in a pool of blood around midnight.
A case of murder was registered against unknown persons and the body was sent for postmortem.
The police would be in a position to frame additional charges after the autopsy report.