Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Police has booked seven men for allegedly raping and killing a 14-year-old Dalit girl by setting her ablaze in Muzaffarnagar district. The body of the girl was found last Friday at her makeshift home. (Also read: ‘Sold’ For Rs 10,000, Meerut Widow Sets Herself Afire After Gangrape)

Police haven’t yet made any arrests as they were still gathering evidence, they said.

Area Circle Officer was quoted by a daily as saying, “An FIR has been registered on the basis of a complaint by the victim’s father against the brick kiln owner and six others on charges of gangrape, murder and sections of the SC/ST Atrocities Act. The allegations of rape have not been confirmed. Arrests will be made as per evidence.”

Police said that the girl’s family hadn’t initially suspected gangrape. The family said the girl was raped in their absence and burnt to death.  Some of her clothes and slippers could be recovered from the spot.

The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has taken cognizance of the case, police said. A statement of the girl’s father will also be recorded before a magistrate.

The girl’s father has said that he had gone home to take care of his ailing wife and had left his son and daughter at the makeshift room. “I had left on Friday evening and my children were in the makeshift room. She slept inside and my son was outside. The administration is trying to make it appear that she died an accidental death but she was taken by men who work in the area. She was raped and murdered,” he said.

Sources told a daily that the body had rope marks on her ankles, hinting at a struggle and use of force. The family lives in the one-room house and the children do not attend school.

Members of the Bhim Army have reportedly assured the family justice.