The bodies of three sisters ages five to 11 were found in a village well in India’s Maharashtra state on Feb. 14. The sisters were raped before they were killed. The corpses of the girls were discovered after they had gone missing from school. Indian police began a manhunt to search for the men suspected of committing the horrific crime on Thursday.
Apparently there is some sentiment that the police were too slow in beginning their hunt for the criminals. On Wednesday, enraged villagers forced shops to close, burned tires and blocked a national highway passing through the area for several hours. According to ABC News, these actions were taken in order to raise awareness and call for justice in the case.
The victims' mother accused law enforcement of poor police work. “The police did not take the case seriously and did nothing for two days,” she told the CNN-IBN television news channel. Her name has not been released.
Indian Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel, who represents the district where the girls were found, said that at least one police officer has been suspended for not acting promptly. “It is unacceptable. All of us have to hang our heads in shame,” Patel said.
Cabinet Minister Manish Tewari called the killings a “very, very heinous assault.” He also said that one million rupees, about $18,300, are being sent to family.
If the men who committed the crime are found, they will be facing stricter sentences than they would have in the past. The government has enacted a new law and increased the sentences for rape from the existing seven to 10 years to a maximum of 20 years. The new law also calls for the death penalty in rape cases that leave the victim dead or in a coma. Voyeurism, stalking, acid attacks and the trafficking of women are all also now criminal offenses because of the new regulation.
Source: (ABC News)