Two Dalit girls found dead in suspected poisoning

  • In US
  • 2021-02-18 15:58:42Z
  • By The Telegraph
A woman holds a placard during a protest against the rape of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua near Jammu, and a teenager in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh state, in Kolkata
A woman holds a placard during a protest against the rape of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua near Jammu, and a teenager in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh state, in Kolkata  

Two Dalit girls have died and a third is critically ill in a suspected poisoning in northern India.

Relatives of the teenage victims said they had been found with their limbs bound with their own clothes.

The dead girls aged 13 and 16, along with the survivor, aged 17, were found on their family farm in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The 16-year-old and 17-year-old were sisters and the 13-year-old was their cousin.

Repeated high profile cases of murder and sexual assault against women have caused widespread anger in India in recent years.

The girls belonged to Dalit, or untouchable, families who are considered outside the Indian caste system and who can face widespread discrimination.

A brother of the victims said they had gone to the farm in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh to collect grass. He told Indian Express: "Today, they got late returning, so we went to look for them. We found them tied up, with clothes."

Police said they bodies bore no signs of injuries and the deaths were suspected poisonings.

"There was some white substance coming out of their mouth and doctors have said there were symptoms of poisoning. We are recording statements of all the people concerned and an in-depth probe is being conducted. Necessary action is being taken," Supt of Police Sureshrao A Kulkarni told the BBC.

A string of horrific crimes against women have caused repeated waves of anger in India since the notorious 2012 gang rape and murder of a young woman on a bus in the capital, Delhi.

Yet despite regular protests, and new laws brought in after the 2012 attack, the number of assaults on women has not abated and prosecutions languish in the backlogged courts for years.

Unnao district has also seen similar high-profile crimes in recent years. A woman was murdered on her way to court in 2019 after alleging she had been raped. She was set upon by five men, including two alleged rapists, and set alight. She died soon afterwards.


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