Aligarh: Two people have been arrested in the murder of a three-year-old girl in Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh. However, at a time when India is furious and is yet to come to terms with the crime, investigations have thrown light on one of the two accused, who had been booked five years ago for raping his own daughter.

A police officer in Aligarh revealed, “One of the two men arrested for the horrific murder of a toddler in Aligarh had been accused of raping his daughter five years ago.”

According to a report in Indian Express, the man was accused of raping his daughter in 2014 on the basis of a complaint by a relative. He was granted bail a few months later.

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A total of four cases are pending against him, filed under various IPC sections, including 376 (rape), 354 (assault with intention to outrage modesty of a woman) and 363 (kidnapping).

Women and child development minister Smriti Irani has reacted to the incident and said that she was in touch with the state government regarding the case. Irani also requested people to not reveal the identity of the minor girl.

Meanwhile, amid outrage over the murder, authorities suspended five policemen for negligence and began proceedings to invoke the stringent NSA against the two men, who allegedly killed her over a Rs 10,000 loan.

The policemen, including a station house officer, were suspended for alleged delay in registering the case after the girl was reported missing on May 30, and also for delaying the probe which eventually led to the discovery of her body on June 2, officials said.

The autopsy report confirmed death due to strangulation. It has not found any sign of sexual assault yet, but samples have been sent to FSL for confirmation.

The murder triggered massive outrage on social media, with political leaders and celebrities tweeting their disgust over the brutality of the crime. Some children also took out a candle-light march in Aligarh.

The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights sought a report from district authorities and said in New Delhi that it will issue directions to them based on the report.

Replying to questions from reporters in Lucknow, additional director general of police (ADGP - Law and Order) Anand Kumar said, "The case will be fast-tracked. POCSO will also be included in the FIR following the FSL report. As of now, sexual assault is not ruled out."

ADGP Kumar said the body was sent for post-mortem examination more than 72 hours after the death. "Entry of maggots have been found."

Aligarh's chief medical officer (CMO) ML Agarwal said that there was "no evidence of sexual assault" according to the post-mortem examination, but given the gravity of the matter, police had been handed over vaginal swab for further investigation.

The CMO dismissed reports that the body had acid marks, saying, "There is no mention in the report of any acid burns on the victim's body." Agarwal said the body had been dumped for nearly four days and hence it had "some signs of tissue damage as a result of normal decomposition".

Tappal police station officials registered the case on May 31, a day after she had gone missing. Two suspects have been arrested. A neighbour said the girl was playing outside her home with other children on May 30 before she disappeared.

Her uncle said police did not take action when they reported that the child had gone missing. "A sweeper alerted us that the body was lying in a garbage dump," he told reporters, adding it was found 200 metres from their home.

SSP Kulhari said proceedings have begun to charge the duo under the National Security Act. A six-member SIT has been formed to investigate the case and a female inspector too has been appointed to carry forward the probe, he said.