India’s gruesome rape record is in the limelight again after two teenage girls were gang raped, killed and hanged from a tree in Northern India. According to Reuters, the incident happened in the tiny village of Karta, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun district.
It started after two local teenage girls from the village, aged 14 and 15, went missing after they went out together at night to answer natures call. As they belonged to a lower caste Dalit family, villagers quickly began searching for the girls, but to no avail.
The following morning, a gruesome sight awaited them after the lifeless bodies of the young girls were found hanging from a mango tree in an orchard, not far away from the village. They were determined to have been raped and later killed and hung off the tree branch to make it look like a suicide, reports NDTV.
The local police were called in and a quick investigation has resulted in the arrest of one suspect. He has apparently confessed that there were four other accomplices who committed the horrendous crime.
“We have registered a case under various sections, including that of rape, and one of the accused has been taken into custody. There were five people involved, one has been arrested and we are looking for the others,” Budaun’s Superintendent of Police Man Singh Chouhan told assembled reporters.
The fact that the two girls were raped was confirmed in an autopsy conducted on them. Police have also taken DNA samples from the girls’ bodies to identify the perpetrators. The actual number of people involved in the rape is still unclear, with Al Jazeera reporting that there were seven rapists in all – including two police officers.
Meanwhile, local villagers are accusing the police department of shielding the perpetrators of the crime. They also allege that the police showed no interest in finding the girls when they had initially gone missing. It took a massive protests from the locals and the blockade of a highway to prompt the officials into action. In their defense, senior police officials have said that they have suspended two police constables for refusing to take the rape complaint.
This appalling act is the latest to be reported from India, where sex crimes against women have been rising, according to data from the Asian Centre for Human Rights. In December 2012, the country had witnessed massive public protests and demonstrations after a young woman was gang raped and brutally killed inside a bus in the country’s capital, New Delhi.
This incident also comes close on the heels of the brutal and equally disturbing honor killing of Farzana Parveen, a pregnant Pakistani woman.
[Images via Wikimedia Commons, Bing]