Maharashtra village shuts down to protest rape

Bhandara (Maharashtra), Feb 24: Lakhni village and surrounding areas in Maharashtra’s Bhandara district observed a spontaneous shutdown Sunday to protest the kidnapping, gang-rape and killing of three minor sisters earlier this month, officials said.

An all-party procession was also taken out in the village with participants carrying placards and banners demanding the arrest of the perpetrators of the heinous crime, who are still untraced 10 days after the incident shocked the nation.

As many as 12 police teams have been formed to investigate the case, but besides interrogating several suspects, they continue to be clueless.

Among other things, the investigators have sought satellite images of the area to trace movements of people in the vicinity of the crime and attempt to reach the culprits.

Bhandara district is around 65 km from Nagpur, the state’s second capital, and Lakhni village is 115 km from the district headquarters.

Police said they were checking out on the possible involvement of seasonal vendors who come to the region from other parts of the country to sell blankets and warm clothes.

Meanwhile, the distraught mother of the victims, a widow, fell ill and was admitted to a local hospital for treatment.

The three sisters, aged between 11 and six, went missing Feb 14, Valentine’s Day, after attending school. Two days later, their brutalized bodies were found from a well in Murmadi area, around three km from the village centre.

The state government has offered a compensation of Rs.10 lakh to the girls’ mother.

IANS