INDIA'S SHAME: Teenage girls found hung from trees may have been victims of 'honor killings'
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/9/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
There's a new twist in a case that has shown a bright, unflattering spotlight on India's crimes against women. Two teenage girls found hanging from mango trees in Uttar Pradesh may have in fact been the victim of "honor slayings," police say.
Indian Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) protesters are hit by water cannon as they stand behind a police barricade during an anti-rape protest in Lucknow.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Three brothers have since confessed to attacking and killing the young girl's cousins, named Murti and Pushpa, in a case which has shaken India.
The head of police in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh, Anand Lal Bannerjee now claims that only one of the cousins had been raped. He also says that the girls had been strangled before their bodies were strung up on the tree.
The case has provoked national outrage in India after it emerged that police in the village of Katra initially refused to investigate the girls' murder due to their low-caste status.
Police now believe the five men sought for their murder last month may be innocent.
Officers say they will investigate the victims' families, with relatives undergoing "narco-analysis." Members of the family will be interviewed under the influence of "truth drugs."
Women activists of Bharatiya Janata Party, flag seen top, face police water cannons as they demonstrate outside the office of Uttar Pradesh state chief minister.
"According to the postmortem report of the deceased, one of the girls was not raped and it appears to be a case of honor killing. We are probing the matter," Bannerjee said at a press conference.
"We will conduct a lie detection test on all the accused who have been arrested. If needed, we will take the accused to Bangalore for the test and get the results."
The police in the village of Katra initially refused to investigate the girls' murder due to their low-caste status.
Villagers hold a protest beside the tree where they discovered the dead girls' bodies.
The state's Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan dubbed rape as a "trivial incident" and said the crime should not be blown out of proportions.
"Rape is a trivial incident and it should not be blown out of proportion by the media. The media should also look into the incidents where people have been falsely implicated in such cases."
The alleged killers in the case, Pappu, Awadhesh and Urvesh Yadav - are members of the dominant Yadav caste, to which most of the local police also belong.
Low-caste villagers from the community in Uttar Pradesh state now fear that they could also be targeted in the wake of the brutal attacks.
In addition to the three suspected murderers, two police officers have been arrested for allegedly ignoring the victims' parents when they reported that the girls, aged 14 and 15, had gone missing.
The girls' murder has prompted protests in New Delhi and other Indian cities, in an echo of the outpouring of grief which came when a student was raped and killed on a bus in the capital in 2012.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
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