A five-year-old girl was found murdered in a vacant plot near her house at Subhash Nagar on Thursday.
The victim, whose face was crushed with some heavy object, was missing since Wednesday evening, police said.
According to local residents, the girl's body was found in a semi-nude state at around noon and her blood-stained clothes were scattered near her body.
"The face was badly crushed with a brick, which was found near the body and had blood stains. The killers tried to deface the victim before fleeing from the spot. We immediately covered the semi-nude body with a piece of cloth," said Ashok Kumar, a local who saw the girl's body.
"I had gone out to visit a doctor to get medicines for my son, who is ill. She was playing outside and when I returned she was not there. I searched for her in the nearby areas. Then I informed Sihani and Nandgram police posts, but my daughter could not be traced," the victim's mother told the Hindustan Times.
The body has been sent for post-mortem. "We have taken the girl's body in our custody. The post-mortem will be conducted after which exact cause of death will be known to us. We have also sought information from doctors about any sexual assault on the minor. Investigations are underway in the incident," superintendent of police Shiva Shanker Yadav said.
When HT visited the spot, the girl's blood-stained pyjama (trousers), cap and shoes were lying at a secluded corner of the vacant plot. Some liquor bottles were also seen scattered nearby.
The police arrived only at around 6pm to clear the scene of crime and seized the victim's belongings for investigations.