Three girls who were attending weddings in India were allegedly raped before being murdered, police said on Friday, amid growing anger over sexual attacks on minors in the South Asian country.
A 9-year-old who was attending a function in Uttar Pradesh state's Etah district was sexually assaulted and strangled by one of the cooks hired to prepare food, area police chief Ajay Bhadauria said.
The accused drew the girl away from the function to an isolated place where he committed the crime, Bhadauria said.
The girl's body was found in the small hours of Friday and the accused had been arrested, Bhadauria added. Medical tests to confirm the sexual assault were being conducted.
In a similar crime in the same district on Wednesday, a 7-year-old girl was taken away from a wedding by an inebriated staff member from the tent-decorators, raped and murdered, police said.
Also, on Wednesday, an 11-year-old girl was raped and murdered at a wedding in Kabirdham district in the central state of Chhattisgarh, police said.
The 25-year-old man, who was arrested, admitted to raping the girl and bashing her head with a stone, local police said.
The child rape-murders have been reported as the Indian government faces public anger over the recent cases of rape of young girls.
In Uttar Pradesh, a 16-year-old girl was allegedly gang-raped by a ruling party lawmaker, while an 8-year-old girl was gang-raped and murdered in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
There were more than 36,000 cases of rape, sexual assault and similar offences against children recorded in 2016, according to government.
A woman reacts at a protest in New Delhi against the rape of an eight-year-old girl, in Kathua, near Jammu and a teenager in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh state earlier this month.