Badaun, Uttar Pradesh: The tiny village of Karta in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh, woke up on Wednesday morning to the chilling sight of two teen girls hanging from a tree in an orchard. The girls, cousins aged 14 and 15, had gone missing from home the night before.
A post-mortem has confirmed that they were raped and died from hanging. Their families allege that they were first brutally gang-raped by four men of the village and then hanged. They also alleged that for many hours after the girls went missing the local police refused to register a first information report.
It was after shocked and angry villagers blocked roads against the alleged police apathy, that a case of rape and murder was registered against the four young men. Three accused have been arrested, while one of them is on the run.
A case of criminal conspiracy has also been registered against two local cops, who have been suspended. The girls' family has alleged in their police complaint that the two cops ignored their requests for finding the girls and accused them of shielding the men.
"Had the cops responded immediately and left in search of the girls when the family approached them, the girls could have been recovered safe and sound," said Mansingh Chauhan, Superintendent of Police, City, Badaun.
The fathers of the girls said they began looking for them soon after they had stepped out of their home to go to the bathroom and searched all night. With the police allegedly refusing help, it was at the crack of dawn that the bodies were found hanging in the orchard.
The police said DNA samples have been taken from the bodies to establish the identity of the men who attacked the girls.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav told reporters today that "whoever is found guilty will be punished."