A 15-year-old girl was murdered after allegedly being raped in Baragaon area on the outskirts of Varanasi on Thursday night.
The shocker came close on the heels of the Uttar Pradesh government facing flak over a series of sex crimes in the state.
The Varanasi incident took place after the girl went to a field near her house on Thursday night to relieve herself, once again bringing to fore the threats women face in rural areas in the absence of toilets.
Around two months ago, two cousins were murdered - one of them after allegedly being raped - under similar circumstances in UP, leading to fierce protests across the nation.
In connection with the Varanasi incident, the police arrested Lakshman Pal, an accused, and search was on to catch hold of Sunil Gupta, another suspect. Pal reportedly confessed to the crime.
The girl's body was found in a field about 50 metres from her house on Friday morning. The killers had disfigured her face by hitting her with a brick.
Reports said the girl, a Class 11 student and a native of Paroma village, went out of her house late Thursday night to relieve herself.
But when she did not return, her family members launched a search but failed to locate her.
On Friday morning, villagers spotted her body in a nearby field and informed her family members. The girl's father identified the body and informed police.
The family alleged the involvement of Pal, who used to harass the girl.
Acting on the input, police arrested Pal, who said that his friend Sunil Gupta was involved in the crime.
"The girl's body has been sent for post-mortem examination, and only after receiving the report, we will be able to confirm whether it was a case of rape," said Shiv Kumar Mishra, Baragaon station officer.