Three sisters were raped, killed, and dumped in a well in India on Valentine’s Day; their bodies were found two days after their grandfather reported that they hadn’t returned home from school.
The girls, aged between five and eleven years old, are the latest victims in a wave of sexual violence to sweep India. After the brutal rape and murder of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi, more and more citizens are speaking out against the violence aimed at women and girls there. After the sisters were found, thousands of people from Murmadi, Lakhani reportedly blocked the highway in a protest, demanding justice be done.
The family of the girls say that the Police Inspector, Prakash Munde, was partially to blame for a delay in a search for the girls; he has since been suspended. The government has awarded the children’s mother a financial compensation, but she refused, saying instead she wanted them to use it to find the murderers.
“When my granddaughters did not return home on February 14, we searched around and at 9 p.m., we went to the Lakhani police station to lodge a complaint. But our complaint was registered only at 1.30 am next day,” the girls’ grandfather–who helped raise them–said.
Police have organized several investigation teams for the case and, as of this week, had three suspects in custody for interrogation. But, they say, that doesn’t mean the men are the suspects. They are also looking at people who knew the family, saying they suspect the girls knew their killers.