PUNE: A seven-year-old girl was allegedly raped and killed in her house on the premises of the College of Military Engineering (CME) here in Maharashtra, police said Wednesday.
Police also found the body of a 24-year-old suspect hanging from a tree on the campus, an officer said, adding that he might have committed suicide.
Prima facie, the accused, whose name has been withheld by police, committed the crime after the girl's mother, a widow, spurned his marriage proposal.
The man and the mother of the victim work in the CME's mess as civil staff and live on the premises.
The incident came to light Tuesday evening when the woman found the girl in an unconsciouscondition when she returned home from work.
"She took the girl to a state-run hospital near the campus, where doctors informed her that the seven-year-old was sexually assaulted before being strangulated, and alerted police," the officer said.
During inquiry, the woman told the police the accused had proposed to marry her after her husband died some months ago, however, she rejected the offer.
The officer said the accused and the woman had a heated argument over the issue on Monday night, after which he threatened her of dire consequences.
"Since he was the prime suspect in the case, we started tracing his location. During the search, we found his body hanging from a tree on the CME premises," the officer added.
Police have registered a case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including murder and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Further investigation is underway.
CME is a premier technical and tactical training institution of the Indian Army Corps of Engineers which is situated at Dapodi on national highway 4, adjacent to the Khadki cantonment, a large Army base in Pune district.