Rape and murder of young sisters sparks anger in India

by Kelsey Shirriff

Indian police are searching for the person who allegedly raped three sisters — ages 7, 9, and 11 — and threw them down a well in a village in Maharashtra last week.

The girls were found Feb. 16 but went missing two days earlier. The victims' mother said that the police worked slowly and did not take the case seriously until protests erupted from the villagers. Police deny the allegations.

"We acted promptly," said local police inspector A.R. Tiwari. "Wireless messages were issued the same day and police teams fanned out to find the girls."

The case comes two months after a 23-year-old woman was gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi and later died of her injuries. The woman's death spurred enormous protests throughout the country, and five men and a juvenile are currently on trial for the crimes.

A new law enacted by the government has increased the penalty for rape from 7 years in prison to a maximum of 20 years.