Two teenage sisters were strangled to death after being raped in Kheri, Lakhimpur, Uttar Pradesh, India. After the murder, two bodies were allegedly hanged on a tree. According to Indian media sources, after such a brutal incident, issues like insecurity of women across the country have come to the fore.

According to the Indian news media NDTV, six people involved in the rape and murder of the two sisters, aged 17 and 15, and later hanging the bodies on a tree, have been arrested, the police said on Thursday.

The residents of the village of two Dalit sisters have been shocked by this horrible incident. NDTV also reported that they are accusing the police of ‘insensitive behaviour’.

One of the prime accused, Junaid, was arrested after an encounter this morning. The police shot him in the right leg. Police said that six people have been arrested so far in connection with the incident. Junaid was finally arrested.

The six accused are Suhail, Junaid, Hafizul Rahman, Karimuddin and Arif. Among them is a girl’s neighbor named Chhotu who introduced the girls to them. He was also arrested.

Police also said that Junaid was friends with the two girls. He brought them on his motorbike.

The girl’s family claims there was no such friendship and that they were abducted. The body was found hanging from a tree near their village yesterday.

Area police chief Sanjeev Suman said that a person named Chhotu introduced the girls to a person named Junaid and Sohail. Yesterday these two men took them to a sugarcane field where they raped the girls. After the rape, the accused became angry when the girls demanded to marry them. Later, with the help of Hafizul, they strangled the girls to death. Then they sent for Karimuddin. Arif helped hang the bodies of the girls to make it look like they had committed suicide.

The police chief also said that Chhotu was from the vicinity of the victims but the other five were residents of neighboring villages. With the arrest of these six people, all those involved have been caught.

The girl’s father demanded death penalty for them. The BJP government in the state said the case would be tried in court expeditiously and promised an exemplary trial of the incident.

The opposition, including the BSP and Samajwadi Party, also cited several cases and termed the crime as ‘the latest proof of how law and order has broken down’ in Uttar Pradesh.

(September 15)