Authorities in northern India have arrested four people, including two police officers, after a horrific gang rape and murder case shocked the nation and put India's problem with sexual violence back in the global spotlight.
Two cousins ages 14 and 15 years old disappeared in the fields outside their home in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Their bodies were later discovered hanging from a tree; a police autopsy showed both of the girls had been raped and strangled to death. (Via BBC)
Outraged villagers thronged around the tree where the two girls were hanged, refusing to let authorities cut the bodies down in protest of the police's handling of this case. (Via Al Jazeera)
"The father of the youngest girl said that if the police had acted quickly instead of doing nothing, the girls could have been rescued. He said he doesn't trust the police." (Via ITV)
On Friday authorities arrested two constables who are suspected to have some connection to the murders, and fired two more officers for failing to report the crime. Police are still searching for at least two more suspects.
Sexual violence has become a mainstream issue in India ever since a fatal 2012 gang rape in New Delhi sparked nationwide protests. The country has since tightened its national anti-rape laws, but rights groups say rape remains a pervasive problem for India. (Via Channel 4, Amnesty International)
India's minister for women and child welfare has criticized the "laxity" of the official response to the crime, and the office of the country's new president Narendra Modi has ordered an independent report about the incident. (Via The Guardian)