A minor girl was suspectedly burnt to death in a haystack on a paddy field in Raisen district in the small hours of Thursday, police said.
The deceased was yet to be identified, prompting the police to constitute teams to find out if there was a teenager reported missing from areas around Khasrode village from where the half-burnt body was found.
It was around 7 am on Thursday that residents under the jurisdiction of Obaidullahganj police station found the body of an apparently 15-year-old girl sticking out from a smouldering stack in their village near Bhojpur in central Madhya Pradesh.
On informing the police, assistant sub-inspector Mahesh Agnihotri, who is in charge of the Bhojpur police outpost, reached the spot, where a crowd had gathered.
Subsequently, inspector (Obaidullahganj town) Manoj Singh arrived and passed on the information to Raisen SP Jagat Singh Rajput, who started investigation.
Rajput, who visited the incident spot in the farm of one Govardan Singh Patel, said the police had spread the probe onto surrounding villages to see if they had any recent case filed on a missing girl.
Inspector Singh said the lower part of the body suffered major burns, while the torso and face were “comparatively intact”. The body has been sent for post-mortem.
Patel, who owns the field, “things were normal” till Thursday 3 am, will when the routine hour-long irrigation was on following power supply.
SP Singh said it was suspected that the girl was first murdered and then burnt between 3.30 am 4 am. “Sniffer dogs, a forensic team, a fingerprint expert visited the spot and the nearby areas for investigation and documentation,” he added. “A case has been lodged against the unknown persons under IPC.”