In case of fire accidents or self-immolation, a person runs around as part of reflex action and sets surrounding objects on fire, the police said. "But Radhika's half-burnt body was found in one place. We suspected that she had been killed first and then the body was set on fire,'' said local police officer Bali Gangareddy.
A postmortem examination revealed that she had been been murdered.
The teen was a student of class 7 at the local government school in Nalgonda district's Theedhedu vilage. Her classmates say she was a bright, cheerful girl, who loved to sing.
On Tuesday, her father Narasimha reportedly saw her chatting with a classmate after school. Once she came home, he accused her of giving the family a bad name and started thrashing her in a fit of rage. Police say her head was dashed against the wall and she was strangled.
The girl's mother Lingamma and her father then allegedly doused her body with kerosene and set her on fire. Though the parents wanted to go ahead with the last rites, the neighbours called in the police.
Both parents have been arrested and are in judicial custody. During investigation, the father confessed to the murder, the police said.
"She was only a bright upper primary student... The father's suspicion that his daughter was engaged in dishonourable acts and his rage, led to the murder,'' the investigating officer said.