Aligarh: A three-year-old girl’s body was found dumped in a garbage in Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh and police are not ruling out sexual assault. The discovery has triggered a public outcry over the incident and five policemen, including an SHO, have also been suspended for alleged negligence.

The policemen were suspended for alleged delay in registering a case after the girl was reported missing. They have also been suspended for delaying the probe which eventually led to the discovery of her body on June 2, officials said.

The toddler had gone missing from Tappal township on May 30 and her body was found three days later in a garbage dump close to her house where stray dogs dragged the mutilated body.

Police said, "Autopsy report has not found any sign of sexual assault. The report confirmed death due to strangulation."

Aligarh's senior superintendent of police (SSP) Akash Kulhari said there is no evidence of sexual assault. He also added that Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) charge has not been added so far.

Kulhari said vaginal swab and slides have been sent for FSL examination. "Depending on the report, if it is established that sexual offence took place, a decision on (adding) POCSO Act will be taken," he said.

In Lucknow, additional director general of police (ADGP - Law and Order) Anand Kumar said the body was sent for post-mortem examination more than 72 hours after the death.

Tappal police station officials registered the case on May 31, a day after she had gone missing. Two suspects have been arrested and police say the case is a fallout of a monetary dispute.

The accused — Zahid and Aslam — have confessed to killing the girl after her father failed to return Rs 10,000 he had borrowed from them, police said in a statement. Asked about the suspension of police officials, SSP Kulhari said that it was done on Thursday on the basis of the inquiry conducted by circle officer Pankaj Srivastva.

The girl's father, Banwarilal Sharma, had threatened to go on fast unto death, demanding the arrest of the family members of the accused. He said, they "colluded" in the crime. The SSP met him and persuaded him against sitting on fast. The SSP said he has assured Sharma that justice would be done in the case and the accused would be tried in a fast- track court.

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

The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights said in New Delhi that it has sought a report from the SSP and will issue directions after examining the report. Security measures at Tappal township, 50 km from the district headquarters, have been tightened as a precautionary step after tension mounted in the area.

The minor's murder was condemned across India with Congress president Rahul Gandhi expressing shock over the incident and wondering how any human being could treat a child so brutally.  His sister, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, too condemned the inhuman act.

Celebrities too expressed their shock and disgust. "This is definitely not the kind of world we want for our children. We need immediate and strictest punishment for such a heinous crime," Akshay Kumar tweeted. "How can somebody even think of doing such a thing?!?! Speechless," Abhishek Bachchan said on social media.