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An Indian teenager has been kidnapped then gang-raped before being strangled to death and her body hung from a tree to make her death appear like a suicide. Reports say the 15-year-old girl was kidnapped by three men from Nanpara, in Uttar Pradesh, with two men subsequently arrested whilst a manhunt is underway for the third suspect.

The girl had disappeared from her village, around 105m from the state capital Lucknow, on Friday 27 May. Her body was discovered the following day. According to reports her corpse was discovered hanging from a tree by her scarf.

The three suspects are said to live in the same village as the dead girl and a police manhunt is underway to find the third suspect. It is claimed that one of the accused had asked the girl to meet him whilst her parents were asleep.

When she went to meet the man, two other men arrived and all three sexually assaulted her. Police Superintendent Salik Ram Verma told AFP the trio tried to make her death "look like a case of suicide".

He said: "When the girl resisted their bid, she was raped and later strangled. To make it look like a case of suicide, they hung her body from a tree and left the spot."

According to the officer four local police constables have been suspended when their slow response to the alleged murder outraged villagers. "I have suspended four constables for laxity and have issued stern instructions to the inspector concerned to book the third accused soon," Verma said.

"The medical report has confirmed rape and strangulation," he added. The dead girl's father also reportedly accused the three men of her kidnap earlier last week.

In a country where attitudes towards women has come under the spotlight following the rising violence against females, activists will no doubt compare this attack to the rape of Jyoti Singh a 23-year-old medical student who died after being gang-raped on a bus in Delhi.

Only last month the body of a 16-year-old girl was found hanging from a tree after she was gang-raped by three men in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. And in March this year, a 28-year-old woman was raped on a bus in Uttar Pradesh by two men whilst her daughter hid in the corner.

Students protest against rape of two minors
India has seen several protests in recent years by citizens concerned with a rise in violence against women Getty