Their distraught mother has alleged that her elder daughter was sexually abused several times by a relative. But he had not been allowed inside the house since. "I have seen her being abused and he was not allowed to come to the house after that," the mother told the media.
The 9-year-old's body was found on the evening of March 4. Her parents - daily wagers - were away from home and returned to find their daughter's body.
The family said she had been very close to her elder sister. A student of Class IV at the village school, she had even given a statement to the police about seeing two men leave their house the day her sister was found dead.
"The postmortem report shows they were sexually abused," said Ajith Kumar, Inspector-General of Police. "Earlier, we had considered it only as a case of unnatural death". The abuse had been even more vicious in case of the younger girl, and the police will register a case of rape and unnatural sex, he added.
Suspecting procedural lapses, the State Human Rights Commission has asked for a detailed report from the police within a month.