Law enforcement in Madhya Pradesh, India, reported a 12-year-old girl was strangled and beheaded by her brothers and uncle after they collectively gang-raped her. The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had failed to return from school the previous day in Sagar, Madhya Pradesh, when family members reported her missing, Daily Mail reports.
On March 14, authorities found her mutilated body and after investigation, were able to determine that she was raped by her brothers and uncle before being strangled to death and beheaded by her aunt. The disturbing attack is the latest in an unending list of sex abuse crimes that have hit the country in the past decade.
The girl's body was found a day after her family filed a missing person's report with the police when she failed to come home from school. While her uncle accused another villager of killing her, police grew suspicious after they found he was embroiled in a land dispute with the accused, according to NDTV.
Forensic tests confirmed the youngster had been brutally raped. However, it soon became evident that other family members were involved in the kidnap after they cracked under questioning.
Authorities have now unearthed gruesome details of the girl's death. According to them, the 12-year-old was taken to her uncle's house by her elder brother and was gang-raped by both of them and a second brother. The youngster later threatened to file a police complaint against them, after which she was strangled by her aunt, beheaded, and dumped in a field.
An investigation into the incident found blood-stained clothes and a sickle - the alleged murder weapon - before police were successfully able to tie them to the crimes.
"Our two senior officers collected all evidence and recorded the statements of the family members," Senior police officer Amit Sanghi told NDTV. "When everything was pieced together, we found that she was raped and murdered by her brothers and uncle. We arrested the uncle and one of the brothers."
That said, a manhunt for another of her brothers is currently underway.
Ever since the 2012 gang-rape and murder of a woman on a New Delhi bus, sexual violence in India has been in the global spotlight. Over 100 rapes were reported each day in 2016, per official figures, prompting several angry protests across the country that ultimately lead to stiffer penalties.
According to experts, victims are often threatened by the perpetrators against reporting the rapes to police. Furthermore, a lax policing system coupled with a sluggish judicial process disappoints such victims on a regular basis.