Mumbai: Days after the country protested against the Delhi gangrape incident, three girls were allegedly raped, killed and then their bodies were dumped in a well in Maharashtra's Bhandara district, reports said on Wednesday.
The three sisters, who were minors, went missing from their school on Feb 14.
Their bodies were found in a well on Feb 16.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan called the incident 'painful'.
"The incident is extremely deplorable and painful. I appeal to the people to maintain calm and cooperate with the law-enforcers," Chavan said in a statement.
Meanwhile, autopsies on the bodies of the three girls showed they were raped and murdered.
"Tanuja Borkar (11) and her sisters Prachi (9) and Priya (6) had gone missing from their village Murmadi in the Lakhni tehsil of Bhandara district on February 14. On February 16, their schoolbags and chappals were found near the well, and their bodies in it," The Indian Express reported.
District Superintendent of Police (SP) Aarti Singh told the newspaper: "The post-mortem report has confirmed they were raped and then murdered."
"The girls are survived by their mother and grandparents. The father died a few years ago. Nobody from the girls' family is talking of any old enmity. But we suspect this could be the work of acquaintances," she said.
"The eldest one had gone to the younger sister's school to call her, saying their mother had called them to eat some hurda (roasted wheat). They were last seen at 1.30 pm (on Feb 14)," Singh said.