India police say girls committed suicide

Investigators conclude that two girls found hanging earlier this year committed suicide and were not raped and murdered.

    Two girls found hanging earlier this year in northern India had committed suicide and were not gang-raped and murdered as previously thought, federal investigators said.

    After a months-long investigation, India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said on Thursday that it "has concluded that it is a case of suicide".

    "Based on 40 scientific reports, CBI has concluded that the two minor girls had not been raped and murdered as had been alleged in the (initial police report)," the agency said in a statement.

    The cousins, aged 12 and 14, were found hanging from a mango tree in an impoverished village in Uttar Pradesh state in May, reigniting international outrage over crimes against women in India.

    The girls' families said they were raped and lynched by men from a higher caste after going into the fields at night to relieve themselves because their ramshackle homes did not have toilets.

    Police arrested five men over the case after the families accused authorities of failing to act because they came from a lower caste. All five were later released without charge.

    The case had sparked fresh debate about India's treatment of women, less than two years after public anger erupted over the fatal gang-rape of a student on a moving bus in Delhi.

    That attack led to tougher laws for rapists and other sex offenders and new policies for police in dealing with the large numbers of assaults against women.

    Women’s rights activist were sceptical about the latest decision in the Uttar Pradesh case and have urged officials to reinvestigate.

    "It must be taken seriously, decisions should not be taken in haste. The CBI should revisit its report and culprits must be punished," Delhi Commission for Women chairwoman Barkha Shukla told reporters.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    The US exaggerating and obsessing about foreign threats seems quite similar to what is happening in Russia.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months