Bhandara rape and murder case: Cops still clueless, Shinde orders probe into RS gaffe

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 01, 2013 17:47 hrs

Nagpur: The police investigation into the rape and murder of three minor sisters at Murmadi village in Bhandara district of Maharashtra has not made a headway even after a fortnight.

The post-mortem report had said that the girls, aged six, nine and eleven years, were raped and murdered. However, sources close to the investigation claim that they were not raped.

A recent forensic analysis report also showed that the girls were neither strangulated nor poisoned but failed to pinpoint the cause of the deaths.

Bhandara superintendent of police Dr Arti Singh could not be contacted for confirmation of these reports.

On Thursday, a team of National Commission for Women had visited the victims' family members at the village.

The team observed that despite the outrage over the incident in the village, no witnesses was coming forward. The team also expressed displeasure about the investigation and called it "insensitive".

Smita Singhalkar, a member of the team, said it was unfortunate that there were no witnesses as the crime site was only two km off a national highway.

The three sisters, who were studying in a local school, had gone missing on February 14 and their bodies were recovered from a well in the village on February 16.

Political leaders are making a beeline to meet the victims' family. Home minister RR Patil and Union minister Praful Patel had earlier visited the village. Shiv Sena youth wing president Aditya Thackeray, and Sena leaders Vinayak Raut, Deepak Sawant, Neelam Gorhe and Ashish Jaiswal visited the family on Thursday evening.

Shinde orders probe after RS gaffe

Caught in an embarrassing gaffe in the Rajya Sabha, home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Friday ordered a probe into how the names of minor rape victims figured in the statement he made on the Bhandara rape and murder incident recently.

"We withdrew the names and deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha expunged it. I have told the (Home) secretary to conduct a probe into the matter," he told reporters outside Parliament House reacting to questions on his slip in the Upper House.

He said the names of the victims were "removed" as they were minor girls.

CPM leader Sitaram Yechury termed as "very unfortunate and very shocking" the Home Minister naming the rape victims who were raped and murdered in Bhandara.

He alleged that the "gravity" of sexual crime was not "reflected" in the statement and the Government was not paying deserving respect to victims of such crimes.

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