Amidst a national outcry over the gang-rape of a student in New Delhi, the murder of a 13-year-old girl after an attempted rape in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin district sent shockwaves on Friday. Angry villagers blocked roads after the girl’s body was found around 7 a.m. on an open field near the railway track some distance from Thathankulam station.

Doctors at the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital confirmed after post-mortem that she was strangled and that there was also an attempt to rape her. The body was identified as that of S. Punitha of Kilakulam village, who had gone missing since Thursday evening.

The Class VII student at the St. John’s Girls Higher Secondary School, Nazareth, took the Tiruchendur-bound passenger train every morning, according to S. Muthulakshmi, a relative of the deceased. Three girls, who usually travelled along with her up to the Thathankulam station, about a km from her house at Kilakulam village, did not accompany her on Thursday.

The victim was last seen walking along the track by her three friends. Her grandfather lodged a complaint with the Seidunganallur police on Thursday night.