Three minor girls were raped, sodomised and killed in Murmadi village in Bhandara district near Maharashtra border last week.
The three children—aged 11, 9 and 6—went missing while returning from school on Thursday. Delayed reports trickling from Lakhani taluka, over 700 km away from Mumbai, said the bodies were found on Saturday. After the post-mortems were conducted on Monday, the report suggested the three children were raped and sodomised before being killed. The incident has sparked tension in the area.
A massive man-hunt has been launched to nab the accused. Meanwhile, fearing repercussions, State Home Minister R R Patil on Wednesday announced that the Lakhani Police Station in Charge Prakash Munde has been put under suspension for dereliction of duty.
The victims’ widowed mother Ramabai Jaipal Borkar had filed a missing report on Thursday. The police ironically did not bother to send a search team, despite several pleas of Ramabai.
On Saturday, villagers finding foul smell emanating from a village and found the bodies of three kids floating in water below. The police fished out the bodies but registered a case of accidental death even though bodies bore injury marks.
Enraged villagers blocked the national highway near Bhandara forcing the police to convert the case to kidnap and murder. On Monday, Special Inspector General of Police Rajendra Singh said the post-mortem report indicated that the girls were raped and sodomised before being killed and offences have been registered under Sections 376,302 and 201 of IPC. The news sparked off protests in nearby villages. On late Tuesday night, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan announced Rs 10 lakh ex gratia to the victims’ family.