Police have detained two suspects for questioning in the rape and murder of a law student whose body was found mutilated in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

The case has drawn comparisons to the deadly 2012 gang rape of a university student on a New Delhi bus that sparked widespread outrage and nationwide protests demanding an end to the widespread sexual assault and abuse of women across India.

Police say the autopsy on the 30-year-old victim in Kerala revealed she had been penetrated by sharp objects before being murdered in her home on Thursday in Perumbavoor, a city on the outskirts of the major city of Kochi.

The family is from the Dalit community, considered the lowest caste in India's centuries-old social hierarchy.