UK & World News

  • 1 June 2014, 18:17

India Girls' Gang Rape: Suspects Confess

Three suspects have confessed to the gang rape and murder of two teenage girls in northern India last week, police have said.

The 14 and 15-year-old cousins, from the lowest Dalit caste, were found hanging from a tree in the village of Katra, in Uttar Pradesh, after disappearing from their homes on Tuesday.

The three suspects detained so far in the attack are cousins in their 20s from an extended family, and they face murder and rape charges, crimes punishable by the death penalty.

Police officer Atul Saxena said a search for two additional suspects is continuing.

Mr Saxena said officers were preparing identity sketches of the two missing suspects based on descriptions provided by the arrested suspects in Katra, in Baduan district, about 300km (180 miles) from Lucknow, the state capital.

Authorities have also arrested two police officers and suspended another two for failing to investigate when the father of one of the teenagers reported the girls missing.

Federal authorities are expected to take over the investigation into the crime this week.

India tightened its rape laws last year - introducing the death penalty for gang rape - following the fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old woman on a moving bus in New Delhi.

The case sparked nationwide protests.

A rape is committed every 22 minutes in India, a nation of 1.2 billion people - and activists say many more cases go unreported because of a culture of tolerance.

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