Ranchi, Jan. 14: The body of a 12-year-old girl, suspected to have been raped and killed, was been recovered from a village in Garhwa district.
The girl, a farmer's daughter in Bandu village under Ranka thana, had gone missing since yesterday evening.
Villagers discovered the body hidden in a thicket of bushes this afternoon and informed the police.
The girl's body has been kept at Ranka police station.
"The post-mortem results will determine if the minor was sexually assaulted and then killed," Garhwa superintendent of police Michael Raj said, adding that they would probe all angles once the report came out.
"This is a sensitive issue. The girl is a minor of a minority community. Let the post-mortem be held first. An FIR has been lodged in the afternoon at Ranka police station," he added.
Bandu village hosted a football match yesterday where hundreds of spectators assembled. It has not been proven if the girl had gone to see the match.
RJD state president and former Garhwa MLA Girinath Singh also stressed on the "sensitive nature" of the case.
"It should be handled carefully and the culprits brought to book as fast as possible. The official machinery in Jharkhand has collapsed completely," he said.
A schoolgirl and a married woman were sexually assaulted in Garhwa in December 2012.
In 2009, a 17-year-old girl in the district had beheaded her rapist, a brick-kiln owner.