A seven-year-old girl was found hanging from a tree in a village in eastern India after locals suspect she was raped, according to police reports. 

Angry villagers sought revenge after discovering the body in eastern West Bengal state on Thursday, hunting down and attacking three men they accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering the girl, a police officer said.

"I am at a local hospital for the girl's post-mortem while those three suspects are also admitted at another hospital with serious injuries," sub-inspector, Shankar Das, told AFP news agency.

Local media reported that one of the suspects had died from injuries sustained in the attack by villagers, but this could not be confirmed.

The girl had gone missing close to her home in the state's East Midnapore district on Wednesday evening, sparking a search by family and villagers, police said.

"This morning around 9:30am, we were on our way out and found the girl hanging from a neem tree," an unnamed villager told NDTV news channel.

Das said he could not confirm whether the girl had in been raped, as a post-mortem report has yet to be released.

Tags: