A federal agency will investigate the alleged gang rape and death of a young Dalit woman in northern India that has led to widespread outrage and become the centre of a political slugfest.
A special team of the Uttar Pradesh state police that has been investigating the incident will soon be handing over to the Central Bureau of Investigation, a spokesman said on Sunday.
The 20-year-old woman was assaulted in a field outside her village in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras district on September 14.
She was severely injured and died two weeks later at a Delhi hospital.
Four upper-caste men from the village have been arrested in connection with the crime.
Local police have been accused of mishandling the case by delaying the registration of complaints by the victim's family and cremating her body against the wishes of her relatives.
Five policemen, including the district police chief, have been suspended.
The decision to hand the investigation over to the CBI was announced by the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister's Office late Saturday soon after opposition Indian National Congress party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi visited the victim's family.
Dalits, formerly known as untouchables, are on the lowest rung of India's archaic caste system. They have historically faced discrimination despite laws to protect them.
The woman's death has sparked protests by members of Dalit communities, rights activists and opposition political parties across India.
Uttar Pradesh is ruled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which also runs the federal government.