A 25-year-old man was nabbed by the Telangana police in Jayashankar Bhupalpally district after the law enforcement agency cracked the case of an alleged rape and brutal murder of a 7-year-old.
The little girl had been dumped in a haystack in a field after being murdered earlier this week, with her clothes partially torn.
The police said that the accused, identified as Kanakam Shiva allegedly killed the girl to take 'revenge' on her father.
Speaking to media persons, Jayashankar Bhupalpally deputy SP P Ravi Kumar said that Shiva's brother had killed himself recently by consuming pesticide. Shiva suspected that his brother had committed suicide as the victim's father had 'spoiled' a potential love affair.
"In a bid to avenge his brother's death, Shiva lured the child under some pretext on December 4 evening and then allegedly raped her before strangulating her to death on the outskirts of Gorikottapally village," the officer was quoted as saying.
A case has been registered under various sections of the IPC and under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
On December 3, some villagers had taken out a procession for a Dalit woman, Bharathi, who had succumbed to a heart attack while clashing with the police in November. Curious to know what the demonstration was about, the victim stepped outside her house as the procession was passing by.
But when she did not return for over an hour, her frantic parents and relatives launched a search. A missing person's complaint was registered on Monday.
That evening, the local police found Lakshmi around 4pm. The police are presently waiting for the post-mortem report, following which they will proceed with the investigation.
Lakshmi case bears a striking resemblance to another child sexual assault and murder case from earlier this year. Seven-year-old Hasini was allegedly raped and murdered in Chennai by a neighbour, 23-year-old Dhasvanth.