A teenage girl has been found hanging from a tree in the state of Uttar Pradesh – just weeks after two girls were killed in similar circumstances.

The body of the 19-year-old was found in Moradabad and police say she had been raped.

A 44-year-old was also found hanged from a tree in Bahraich on Wednesday amid claims she had also been gang-raped, however a post mortem proved inconclusive.

Police said she had been threatened by local people for selling alcohol in the area.

It comes within weeks of two teenage cousins were gang-raped and found hanged in Badaun. Photographs of the 14 and 15-year-olds hanging from a tree provoked an international outcry over the rise in sexual violence in the country.

Three suspects have been held along with two policemen who have been charged with dereliction of duty and criminal conspiracy. The officers refused to help the victims' families when they first reported their daughters missing.

But head of police, Lal Bannerjee, has claimed only one of the girls had been raped and the five men accused of their murder could be innocent, he said.

"Of the two victims, one was the lone child of her parents. Her father is one of three brothers with limited resources and if she was not alive, it could benefit others," Bannerjee told the Independent.

"It could be one of the motive. I am not saying that this is the motive."

The father of one of the girls has denied the allegations.

Rape is one of the most common crimes in India. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, 25,000 rape cases were reported in 2012, of which 24,470 were committed by a relative or neighbour.