A 14-year-old girl was allegedly raped and murdered by unidentified persons at Bhilawadi in Sangli district in western Maharashtra, police said on 7 January.
The incident came to light on the night of January 5 when the body of the victim was recovered from roadside in Malavali village under Bhilawadi police station limits, police said.
The body was sent to a government-run hospital for post-mortem, which revealed that the victim had been raped and smothered to death, a police official said.
"A case of rape and murder was registered against unidentified persons late last night," the official said. Police are questioning some suspects, who stay near the residence of the victim, in connection with the case.
Tense situation prevailed in Malavali village, as local residents gathered outside Bhilawadi police station this morning and held a protest demanding arrest of the accused. The villagers are also observing a token strike today to condemn the incident.
"Police force has been deployed in Bhilawadi considering the possibility of law and order problems," police said.
According to police, after the incident came to light, some people circulated messages on social media claiming that the accused belonged to a particular religion and caste.
However, police have appealed to people not to believe in any such "baseless and provocative" posts on social media. "Since we have not arrested anyone so far, how can somebody play a mischief by putting wrong information on social media. I request all the responsible citizens not to believe in such posts," Datta Shinde, Superintendent of Police, Sangli, said.
"All the necessary steps are being followed to collect the clues and scientific evidence. We are making all efforts to crack this case and to bring the culprits to book," Shinde said.