Outrage over sexual violence given new fuel after police recorded deaths as "accidental" when bodies of raped, murdered sisters aged 5,9, and 11 were found in a well.
It’s almost unspeakable. Three young sisters aged 5, 9, and 11 were walking home from school on Valentine's Day when they disappeared. Now, it’s being reported that the girls were found raped and murdered two days later, and the police never launched a proper investigation. After discovering the sisters’ bodies in an old well, police recorded their deaths as “accidental.” It was only after the people from the girls' remote village staged a protest that blocked a national highway Wednesday did officials look into the matter, leading to a medical investigation that revealed the rape and murder. The girls’ mother was offered one million rupees in compensation, but she says, “No amount of money is going to bring my girls back.”
The young mother's tragedy in a remote village once again demonstrated how the police in India often fail to adequately respond to major crimes, especially when it involves women and children.
When a young physiotherapist was brutally gang-raped in a moving Delhi bus in December, the extraordinary public outrage across the country forced Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government to promise better policing and faster legal action to protect Indian women at home and outside.
But even as lawmakers prepared to discuss a new law against sexual offences on Friday, news of the latest atrocity, involving three young girls in a village more than a thousand kilometres from the Indian capital, was kept under a veil of silence until villagers rioted and blocked the national highway demanding a proper investigation.
"There was no nationwide outrage in response to the latest heinous incident of rape," said a CNN-IBN news anchor. "Why is the nation silent? Or have we become numb?"