There is growing anger among locals in Gujarat's Modasa, about 105 km from Ahmedabad, over the alleged gang-rape and murder of a teenager from a scheduled caste. The 19-year-old girl's body was found hanging from a tree in Saira village of Modasa on January 5.
In several places, people held candlelight vigils against the police's failure to apprehend the accused, who are believed to be from a village which is near the victim's village.
The teenager had been allegedly gang-raped and killed on January 1.
Only after the woman's body was found hanging from a tree four days later, the police filed a case, locals said. The family of the woman had initially refused to accept the body till the culprits were caught, but later conducted her last rites.
The family alleges the police refused to take prompt action for three days and did not do anything to locate the woman. Top police officials say they are studying the complaints of the family against the local police seriously and will take action against those found guilty.
A senior police officer told NDTV, "An investigation is on in the case. The girl was kidnapped on December 31 and she was found dead on January 5. We are trying to figure out where she was kept at this time and apprehend the accused."
The police now say they are in the process of locating the accused but questions are being raised about the role of the local police itself in the case. According to the family, the police told them the girl would be returned to them with a marriage certificate.
"Before her body was found the parents of the girl approached the police but the police did not register a complaint. They kept making the parents run from pillar to post and told them that the girl had done such a thing that she would not be able to show her face to anyone. After two days of protests finally an FIR was lodged," human rights activist Kantilal Parmar told NDTV.
The police are now focusing on trying to catch the accused.
"Provisional post mortem report suggests she died of asphyxiation. There is fracture or serious injury on the body. Post mortem will confirm is there has been rape or not," SS Gadhvi, Deputy Superintendent of Police told NDTV.