Outrage grew in India yesterday over two shocking rape cases as the new government said it was planning to set up a special crisis cell to ensure justice for victims of sex attacks.
On Thursday it emerged that two teenagers from a low caste had been found hanging from a tree after being gang-raped in their village.
A day later, police said the father of the chief suspect in another rape case had savagely attacked the mother of his son's alleged victim.
Rights activists and politicians said the cases showed that the authorities in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh were "not serious" about tackling sexual crimes. India revised laws on sex attacks in the wake of the 2012 gang rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi, but they have done little to stem the tide of attacks.
Police in Uttar Pradesh said yesterday that three people, including a police constable, had been arrested in connection with a sex attack on the two girls in the village of Budaun earlier this week. The two cousins, aged 14 and 15, were found hanging from a mango tree on Wednesday, with subsequent tests showing that they had been the victim of multiple sexual assaults.
Indian media reported that two policemen had been sacked over their handling of the case and that a police constable had been arrested. But Maneka Gandhi, newly appointed child welfare minister, said that every officer involved in the case should be dismissed. She added that she planned to set up a "rape crisis cell".