Udupi police is investigating the gruesome death of a suspected minor girl who was found dead in a forest area near Manipal on Sunday.
Her body was discovered by Sumitra, a resident of Moodu Sagri village near Doddanagudde, in a wooded area close to a railway track on Sunday evening at 5 pm. She immediately informed the police about the incident.
Police officials arrived on the spot along with officials from the Forensic Medicine Department of Kasturba Hospital in Manipal to investigate the incident.
Nisha James, Superintendent of Police (SP), Udupi confirmed to TNM that it appears to be a case of rape and murder. "It appears to be a case of rape combined with murder but we are waiting for the forensic team to confirm the same. Our investigation is underway and four police inspectors are looking into the matter. We have also collected documents to verify her age," she said speaking to TNM.
Sources in the police department also confirmed that the clothes of the girl had been removed. "When the body was found, it was naked from the bottom half and her underwear was also removed which suggests that there was sexual intercourse. There were no defensive injuries found on her body", the source said.
The source also added that the victim was not a local resident and had been working in Udupi.
Officials of the Forensic Medicine Department of Kasturba Hospital conducted preliminary analysis of the body on Monday. "We have conducted preliminary tests and we will be informing the police about our analysis later today," confirmed an official from the department.
The victim had gone missing on Saturday afternoon and the discovery of her body has come as a shock to residents of the area. A case of murder has been registered based on the complaint of Padmanatha, husband of Sumitra, who discovered the body, however, the police confirmed that they will add sections under the POCSO Act and charges of rape if the forensic tests confirm that the victim was raped.