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Feb 21, 2013 at 02:46pm IST

Bhandara rape-murder case: No nationwide outrage, culprits yet to be arrested

Bhandara: Even as thousands of Indians came out on the streets demanding tough anti-rape laws a few weeks ago following the brutal gangrape of a paramedical student in Delhi, a similar horrific case in Maharashtra's Bhandara district has almost gone unnoticed. Three minor siblings were raped, murdered and their bodies dumped in a well on February 14 but till now no arrests and neither have massive demonstrations taken place for justice.

The case poses a question on the sensitivity of big cities to crime against women. CNN-IBN spoke to people in metros many of whom accepted that crimes against women in rural areas were often neglected. They also said media needed to highlight more of such incidents from the rural area to get public attention to such heinous crimes in these areas.

ALSO SEE Bhandara rape case: Culprits should be hanged in public, says mother of the three victims

The Centre too has taken notice of the crime and asked the state government as to why no arrests have been made even after a week. "It's a state matter. but we will ask for a report on why no arrests have been made so far. We are committed to ensuring safety of women," Minister of State (Home) RPN Singh said.

Bhandara MP Praful Patel has demanded death for the rapists in the case. "In the Bhandara case, nothing less than capital punishment should be given," Patel said. "There should be consensus on anti-rape law. I don't know why there should be differences over issues which requires safety of women," he added.

ALSO SEE Bhandara rape case: A week on, no arrests made yet; protests to continue

Meanwhile, the mother of the three girls wants the culprits to be hanged in public. "I think the men who did this should be found at the earliest and hanged in public," she said speaking to CNN-IBN.

She also said her daughters could have been saved had the police acted. "The first day when we filed the complaint, the police didn't act on it. Had they looked for the girls, my girls would have been found. This is nothing but negligence," she said. Talking about the compensation, she said, "No amount of money is going to bring my girls back."

Three suspects are being questioned, but tension continued in the village as locals protested against police apathy of initially terming the case as an accident.

Three sisters, all minors were allegedly raped and murdered in Maharashtra's Bhandara district and their bodies were dumped in a well after they went missing from their school on February 14.

Preliminary post-mortem report has confirmed that the girls were raped before being murdered. Enraged villagers demanding a swift probe blocked the National Highway 6 for over 4 hours on Wednesday, while a bandh was called in the district. Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh and senior police officials have been rushed in to oversee the investigation.

CNN-IBN asks:

- Why did the police delay registering the FIR of the girls going missing on February 14?

- Why was an attempt made to term it an accident even after discovering the girls' bodies on February 16?

- Could swift police action have prevented this shocking rape and murder of the three minors?

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