Five suspects in custody over India cousins gang-rape

KATRA SHAHADATGUNJ, India: Five men have been arrested over the gang-rape and deaths of two girls found hanging from a mango tree in a northern Indian village, police said Saturday.

The discovery of the two cousins, aged 14 and 12, in the Budaun district of Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday is the latest sexual violence case to have stirred national outrage.

“Rape on both the girls has been confirmed. The cause of their death was asphyxia,” Budaun district police superintendent Atul Saxena told AFP.

Saxena said preliminary cases had been filed against five men who were all being held in custody. Three are accused of rape while two policemen face charges of conniving with criminals and neglecting their duties.

Two other men were also named in a police complaint filed by the victims’ families but their whereabouts were unknown, Saxena added.

The farming family of the two cousins from the lowest Dalit caste told AFP police could have “saved” the girls but claimed they refused to help when they found they were from a lower caste.