Three minor sisters raped, murdered

MUMBAI — Three sisters aged between six and 11 were raped and murdered before their bodies were dumped down a village well in rural western India, police said on Wednesday.


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Published: Thu 21 Feb 2013, 10:45 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 3:32 PM

The bodies of the three schoolgirls were found last week, two days after they went missing on February 14 from their home in the Bhandara district of Maharashtra state, police superintendent Aarti Singh said.

“The bodies of the three young girls were found in a well, with their schoolbags and footwear,” Singh told AFP by phone from Nagpur, adding they were aged six, nine and 11. “The post-mortem has confirmed that the girls were raped and then murdered.”

The girls were subjected to unnatural sex, according to an autopsy. A manhunt has been launched against the unknown perpetrators.

Police have formed 12 special teams to probe the crime, which left union Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel visibly stunned on Tuesday after he visited the mother of the three girls at her home in Lakhni village, around 115km from Bhandara town.

“As a father of three daughters, I am appalled at the atrocity committed on these girls. I have raised the matter with the chief minister to ensure financial assistance to the widow, speedy investigation and a fast track trial of the accused,” Patel said.

According to officials, the three girls did not return from school last Thursday (February 14) and their mother lodged a missing complaint at the Lakhni police station.

Two days later, some villagers discovered their brutalised bodies from a well near Murmadi, around three kilometres from their village, following which the local police registered a case of ‘accidental death’.

It was only after the villagers took to the streets, blocked traffic and protested outside the police station that a case of murder, kidnapping and rape was lodged.

No arrests have been made but Singh said four people had been detained for questioning and investigations were still under way.

Appealing for calm and cooperation, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday said the incident was “extremely deplorable and painful”.

“The incident is extremely deplorable and painful. I appeal to the people to maintain calm and cooperate with the law-enforcers,” Chavan said in a statement.

Chavan also announced ex-gratia relief of Rs1 million to the family of three minor sisters, who went missing, and later found raped, murdered and their bodies dumped in a well in Bhandara district, about 65km from Nagpur, the state’s second capital in eastern Maharashtra.

Home Minister R.R. Patil had earlier announced the suspension of Prakash Munde, chief of the Lakhni police station, under whose jurisdiction the crime was committed.

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