Special Correspondent

MADURAI: A three-year-old-girl was found dead under mysterious circumstances with severe injuries on her body in a canal near Othakadai here on Wednesday.

Police said that Ravi, a car driver was living in Pudu Thamaraipatti, near Othakadai. His daughter identified as Shobika (3) was studying LKG in a local school. On Tuesday evening, she was playing with her friends in front of her house.

At around 8 p.m, she was reported missing. A hunt was on to search the girl child, but in vain.

Around noon on Wednesday, people spotted her body lying in the canal with injuries and cuts all over the body.

As the news spread about her death, irate residents resorted to an agitation.

The crowd was in no mood to allow the police to go near the canal to remove the body.

They demanded the closure of the TASMAC shop in the locality.

Residents alleged that many anti-socials gathered there and in an inebriated mood assaulted the public.

Despite assurances from the Tahsildar (North) and Othakadai DSP the protestors did not give up their agitation.

When the authorities referred the issue to District Collector S.S. Jawahar, he ordered the closure of the TASMAC shop in public interest.

Following this, the authorities removed the body from the canal and sent to Government Rajaji Hospital for post-mortem.

The Othakadai police have registered a case of murder. Madurai Superintendent of Police M. Manohar told The Hindu that the cause of death is being ascertained.

Special teams had been formed.