India: Teen sisters gang-raped and hanged from tree
India: Teenage girls gang-raped and hanged from tree Reuters

Two teenage girls were reportedly gang-raped and hanged from a tree in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

The girls, cousins aged 14 and 15, went missing a few days ago. According to their parents, the girls never returned after leaving their house to answer nature's call during the night.

Throughout the night they searched for them but in vain. In the morning the girls' bodies were found hanging from a mango tree in the village.

While the post-mortem results are awaited, preliminary findings indicated that sexual assault had taken place.

One of the suspects, identified as Pappu Yadav, has been arrested while four other alleged perpetrators of the atrocity are absconding. Two of the missing men have been identified by their first names as Brijesh and Awadhesh.

Police authorities who failed to register a complaint when the girls went missing have also been suspended from their duties.

The incident has sparked protests in Katra village of Badaun district where the alleged gang-rape took place. The victims belonged to the under-privileged Dalit community.

The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav, has vowed to punish the guilty.

Mamata Sharma, chairperson for the National Commission for Women said: "We have taken suo motu cognizance of the gang rape. An inquiry committee has been set up and will be sent there for further investigations into the case."

"We are waiting the Action Taken report and only after that we can see what needs to be done. Right now we have no information about any arrests made in the case."