Ranchi, Feb. 15: The partially burnt body of a girl in her 20s was found off NH-33 in Bundu town of Ranchi district early this morning, in a bizarre incident that has sent shock waves across the region.
Alarmed by smoke a little distance away, a morning walker spotted the body on a barren field between Gosaidih and Majhi Toli, about 40km from the district headquarters, around 6am.
The body has been sent for post-mortem at RIMS, Ranchi, but police are clueless.
According to police sources, the man first noticed the smoke. When he went closer, he was shocked to find the girl’s body — partially mutilated — burning. He immediately informed Bundu police station around 3km away.
Police scanned the area, around 25m from the highway that connects Ranchi and Jamshedpur, but could not find any clues. The girl was wearing blue jeans, a red T-shirt and anklets. She had no footwear. Her mobile phone was damaged in the fire.
Superintendent of police (rural) S.K. Jha said the girl had not been identified. “It appears that someone had killed her elsewhere, before dumping the body and setting it on fire,” he said.
Nearby police stations in Khunti and Jamshedpur had been alerted and asked to find out if there was any complaint about a missing girl.
Asked whether police noticed anything that suggested rape before the murder, Jha said, prima facie, it didn’t appear to be so as there was no sign of struggle. “But, it is too early to comment. The body has been sent for post-mortem, once reports come things will be clear,” he said.
A case of murder has been registered at Bundu police station and efforts are on to establish the identity of the victim. “Once we know the girl’s identity, it will be easier to ascertain the reason behind the death. So far, no clue has been found,” said a senior officer from Bundu.
Another police official wondered if there was a Maoists link. “Bundu is a Maoist affected area. Cases of Naxalite violence have been reported from the area but this is for the first time such a matter has come to fore.”