The body of an unidentified 12-year-old girl, clad in jeans and T-shirt and bearing three injury marks on the back of her head and strangulation marks on her neck, was discovered on Wednesday evening from a deserted steel-manufacturing unit in Taratala.
A youth of the locality stumbled upon the body when he entered the abandoned factory, on Goragacha Road, and alerted Taratala police station.
“He entered the factory like any other evening, as a group of local youths meets regularly on the spot. He tripped on the body and immediately raised an alarm,” said a local thana officer.
Police found the body with injuries on the back of her head and strangulation marks on her throat. “It appears that she was hit with a blunt object before being strangulated. The wounds on her head were not deep enough to kill her,” said the officer. “There were no signs of struggle either, suggesting that she was strangulated when she fell unconscious after receiving the blows on her head,” he added.
“Preliminary investigations suggest that the girl had been murdered at least 24 hours before being discovered, as there are some signs of decomposition,” said Soumen Mitra, deputy commissioner of police (detective department).
Sleuths from the homicide wing later examined the spot. “From the clothes she was wearing, the girl seems to be from an affluent family. But nothing has been found on the body to establish her identity,” sleuths said.
The body, police said, could have been dumped inside the deserted factory after the girl was murdered elsewhere.
“We have sent word to all neighbouring police stations to find out if a missing complaint had been lodged with any of them,” said an officer from Taratala police station. “We are looking at all possible angles, including whether she was killed for resisting a molestation attenpt. But all that will only be clear after we get the post-mortem report,” he added.
But with no clues in sight, police are hoping that someone comes forward to claim the body, enabling them to establish the identity and direct the probe accordingly.
Sleuths have been engaged to conduct a detailed inspection of the factory premises from where the body was discovered. “Along with the local police, we are carrying out a thorough investigation of the place. We have not been able to find the blunt weapon the girl was hit or the rope she was probably strangulated with,” an officer of the detective department said.
Late on Wednesday, police carried out raids in the area and rounded up several local residents for questioning.