India arrests five after raped women hung from mango tree (Telegraph (U.K.))
“Five men, including two police officers, have been arrested in relation to the gang-rape and murder of two teenage cousins found hanging from a tree in northern India earlier this week.
“The girls, aged 14 and 15, who are members of India’s lowest dalit ‘untouchable’ caste, had been kidnapped by a upper caste men on Tuesday evening after they left their homes to go to the toilet in a nearby field. Their families searched in vain for them and they were found dead the following morning.
“The images of their bodies hanging from a mango tree caused revulsion throughout the world and highlighted the violence and persecution suffered by ‘dalits’ in India’s Hindu caste system. [...]
“The arrest of two police officers for alleged complicity in the murders and dereliction of duty followed a complaint by the father of one of the victims who said when he reported his daughter missing he was abused by local constables who refused to search for her. His daughter could have been saved had the police reacted quickly to his request, he said.
“The father claimed caste prejudice – the police officers arrested are from the same higher Yadav caste as the three men accused of the girls’ rape and murder – was a factor in their attitude.”
‘Our ambitious girl’: The village where cousins were raped and hanged (BBC, May 30, 2014):
“The mother of the younger girl showed me her daughter's school notebooks lined with neat Hindi script.
“She said that her daughter always wanted to do something more with her life than get married. She wanted to work and get a job.
“‘She wanted to study until college just like the boys in the village,’ her mother said.
“She had told her daughter that she would be allowed to progress with her studies unhindered because she was the youngest girl in the family.
“The mother said that in her generation women did not work but they have tried hard to educate their children.
“She was composed but also full of anger. The mother of the older girl was howling and unable to speak. [...]
“The girl's father is poor farm labourer.
“When he went to the police outpost at the village one of the men seen by the neighbour harassing his daughter was with them.
“The father claims that police then ridiculed him for his low-caste status. ‘The first thing I was asked was my caste. When I told them they started abusing me,’ he said.
“Even though the accused and the victims are from the same broad category known as ‘Other backward classes’ the victims were lower down within that hierarchy.
“The father said he had to go down on all fours and literally beg the police.
“He said the officers and the man with them kept laughing and told them to go home and the girls would be back in two hours.”