Two teenage Indian girls who are cousins were gang-raped on Tuesday by five men and subsequently hanged from a tree.
Police in India have arrested one man and are searching for four other suspects, Reuters reports. The incident occurred in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
The girls, aged 14 and 15, went out to use the toilet but never returned. The next morning, villagers found the bodies of the girls hanging from a mango tree in an orchard close to the village.
A post-mortem report revealed that the two minors were raped and died from the hanging.
The victims’ families are accusing local police of shielding the attackers as they reportedly refused to take action when the girls were first reported missing.
They said It was only after angry villagers found the corpses and took the bodies to a nearby highway, blocking it in protest, that police filed a case of rape and murder.
According to the Asian Centre for Human Rights, “48,338 child rape cases were recorded in India from 2001 to 2011, and the annual number of reported cases had risen more than fourfold – 336 percent – over that period. “
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