Two teenage girls have been found dead in a field while a third was discovered unconscious.
The tragic scene unfolded in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, India, as two of the girls – who were cousins aged 13 and 16 – were found tied up in a field.
The third girl, aged 17, is in a critical condition in hospital. The alarm was raised when the girls failed to return home after going to fetch food for animals on Wednesday afternoon.
Police Superintendent Anand Kulkarni said two of the girls were declared dead upon arrival in hospital and the other is critical and undergoing treatment.
Their hands and feet with tied with scarves and they were frothing at the mouth, according to the family.
Lucknow Range Inspector General Laxmi Singh said: "The brother has given a statement saying this, but we can't say anything because the bodies were removed before the police reached the spot."
Superintendent Kulkarni added: "There was some white substance coming out of their mouth and doctors have said there were symptoms of poisoning.
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"We are recording statements of all the people concerned and an in-depth probe is being conducted. Necessary action is being taken."
According to The Indian Express, officials said there were no signs of struggle at the crime scene, adding that the probe will look at "all possible angles".
Six police teams have been formed to investigate what happened while a dog squad was also called to the scene.
The bodies of the girls have been sent for an autopsy. Family members are claiming they were murdered.
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