Three young sisters in India were raped and killed, but residents are angry that police did not address the situation in a timely matter.
The sisters were 7, 9, and 11, and were found on Feb. 16 in a village well in Maharashtra after their mother reported them missing two days before.
After their bodies were found, it took several days for police to do anything, and they likely only started an investigation because villagers began to protest.
Police office Abhinav Deshmukh said 10 teams of 30 investigators are currently working on the case and hope to find the killers soon.
When the sisters’ bodies were first found, police quickly dismissed their deaths as accidental. Villagers became angry and began protesting by shutting down shops and blocking a national highway that passed through the area. This lasted several days until police finally registered the case as rape and murder after an autopsy revealed the girls had been sexually abused.
A police officer assigned to the case has been suspended for not acting in a timely matter.
The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he was sending 1 million rupees ($18,300) to the family.
This comes after India’s outrage over the rape and murder of a young woman aboard a bus in New Delhi.
The woman was gang raped and the incident caused many Indians to grow concerned over the way women are treated in the country, prompting them to demand new protection laws for women.
She was with her friend at the time, who was also beaten in the attack. After the rape, she was dumped naked on the side of the road and died two weeks later from her injuries in a hospital. A case is currently underway, where five men are being charged with rape and murder and a sixth is in juvenile court.
Recently, India increased the prison sentence for rapists from seven to 10 years to a max of 20 years. They also will consider sentencing rapists to the death penalty in extremely violent cases.