On Wednesday, a 16-year-old girl's body was found hanging from a tree in Lalimati forest in the Indian state of Jharkhand's Palamu district. She was the daughter of a politician who belonged to the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP).

According to the authorities, the minor's right eye was gouged out before she was killed and her body was hung from a tree. She was a resident of Budhabar village in Jharkand, under the jurisdiction of Panki police station, India Today reported.

The 16-year-old went missing after leaving home at 10 am on Monday, according to an initial complaint filed by the girl's family. Local law enforcement authorities discovered her body hanging from a tree in the forest near Budhabar village as the police were looking for her. The deplorable state of the victim's body has been analyzed to be a result of heinous physical and sexual assault.

On Wednesday evening, the local BJP leader's daughter, who was the eldest of the other five children, was cremated. There has been no primary suspect named by the police, at this stage of the investigation, but the only suspect named so far has been identified as Pradeep Kumar Singh Dhanuk following a preliminary examination of call data records (CDR) collected at the crime site. According to reports, Dhanuk is a married man who may have been involved in the case as an aide. The accused allegedly sought to make it appear as if it was a case of suicide, according to the police.

The police are looking into the incident from every perspective, Palamu Superintendent of Police (SP) Sanjeev Kumar said. He added that preliminary information suggests the victim was acquainted with a man. The victim's family had opposed an alleged relationship of the girl with another man, a report by Hindustan News Hub quoted the SP.

He said that a man's relationship with the deceased could also be an intent or reason for murder. There was a furious altercation and a scuffle between the victim's family and the victim a few days ago, following which the victim disappeared.

Her body was taken to the Medini Rai Medical College in Medininagar for a post-mortem. The post-mortem report will determine whether this is a case of rape followed by murder, according to Kumar.

police line crime scene
A representational image of a crime scene. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images