Three suspects confess to raping two teenage girls in India

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 June, 2014, 4:16pm
UPDATED : Monday, 02 June, 2014, 1:53am

Three detained suspects have confessed to the gang rape and slaying of two teenage girls found hanging from a tree.

Their admissions came as the search for two more suspects continued for a fourth day.

India has a long history of tolerance for sexual violence. But the gang rape and killing of the cousins in Uttar Pradesh state caused outrage across the nation.

The two girls, from an impoverished family with no toilets in their home, disappeared on Tuesday night after going into fields to relieve themselves.

Police are preparing identity sketches of the two missing suspects based on descriptions provided by the arrested suspects in the tiny village of Katra, 300km from Lucknow, the state capital.

The three suspects detained so far are cousins in their 20s from an extended family. They face murder and rape charges, crimes punishable by the death penalty.

Authorities also have arrested two policemen and suspended another two for failing to investigate when the father of one of the girls reported them missing.

Federal authorities are expected to take over investigation into the crime this week.

The confessions come as the father of one of two girls said he had refused compensation from the state government, which he blamed for failing to stop the horrendous crime.

The father made the comments after a string of politicians descended on the dirt-poor village amid growing uproar over the attacks.

"We have only made one demand from each politician who has visited us, we want justice," he said. "We want the same treatment to the accused that they gave to our daughters - they should be hung from a tree."

Also in Uttar Pradesh, two people have been arrested for setting a girl, 16, on fire after sprinkling kerosene on her after a land dispute with her father.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse