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Police arrested a third suspect and hunted for two others Saturday in the gang rape and slaying of two teenage cousins found hanging from a tree in northern India, a case that has prompted national outrage - reported the AP.
The three suspects detained in the attack in Uttar Pradesh state are cousins in their 20s from an extended family, and they face murder and rape charges, crimes punishable by the death penalty, said police officer N. Malik. Two fugitive suspects from the same village are also being sought, he said.
Facing growing criticism for a series of rapes, authorities in Uttar Pradesh — which has a long-standing reputation for lawlessness — also arrested two police officers and fired two others Friday for failing to investigate when the father of one of the teenagers reported the girls missing earlier in the week.
India has a long history of tolerance for sexual violence. But the gang rape, which was followed by TV footage showing the corpses of the 14- and 15-year-old girls swaying as they hung from a mango tree, triggered outrage across the nation. The father who reported the girls missing, Sohan Lal, has demanded a federal probe.