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A 12-year-old girl has been gang-raped, murdered and cremated before her parents were held hostage for 12 days in India, reports say.
Senior police officer Sanjiv Kumar Ranjan was suspended after an audio clip allegedly revealing him helping cover up the horrific crime on January 21 went viral.
The girl's father said he and his wife were held hostage and threatened against speaking to cops after they returned home to find her in a pool of blood, the Times of India reports.
He said they fled the house in Kundwa Chainpur in East Champaran, Bihar, overnight on February 2 before returning with relatives from their native Nepal the next day.
Siyaram Sah, who owns the house, and his son Vinay Sah have been arrested and named as among the main suspects in the case, it is reported.
The father told police his family had been renting a room from Sah for seven years.
His daughter was allegedly gang-raped and murdered by Vinay and three others while left alone in the room.
He claimed that he found his daughter lying in a pool of blood and rushed her to a local primary health centre where a doctor declared her dead.
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The father told police that Siyaram and others then took and his wife hostage and cremated the body the same night.
He said they threatened him with "dire consequences" if he tried to escape and report the case to the police.
An unverified audio clip recorded Station House Officer Ranjan allegedly telling the accused to ensure that the victim's parents don't mention "those" things in the complaint else it would create a problem.
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He was suspended on charges of dereliction of duty and helping the accused in suppressing a crime after his superiors heard the clip, it was reported.
East Champaran Senior Superintendent (SP) Navin Chandra Jha launched a special investigation team into the allegations against the Kundwa Chainpur police chief on Sunday.
He said Ranjan has been suspended on the charges of dereliction of duty and helping the accused in suppressing the crime.
SP Jha added there was prima facie evidence against Ranjan to accuse him of working with the culprits.
Ranjan was accused of failing to file a crime report or inform his superior officers when told about the crime.
It is alleged he instead allowed the accused to dispose of the victim's body in an open field.
SP Jha added the locked rental room had been opened up for investigators and forensic experts would visit the spot and the cremation site on Monday.
If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 0845 30 30 900 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.
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