Bhandara police have claimed a major breakthrough in the alleged rape and murder of three minor sisters of Murmadi village of Lakhni taluka. Nearly three weeks after the incident, the police have detained three suspects from the village on Tuesday and are now interrogating them.
The superintendent of police (SP), Bhandara district, Arati Singh confirmed the report but refused to divulge details. “I will not be able to give you more details in the interest of the case,” she said and refused to name the suspects. “We are in the right direction,” she added.
The district police had set up 10 different special teams interrogated several villagers over the last one fortnight and finally zeroed in on three suspects on Tuesday morning from Murmadi.
Three sisters — aged 6, 9 and 11 — had gone missing from their school on February 14 and their bodies were found inside in a well near a farmhouse, about a km from the village on February 16.
The preliminary post mortem had confirmed that they were raped and murdered. However, forensic findings contradicted the report. The swabs from the girls’ vaginas and other body parts were sent to the forensic lab of the government-run medical college at Nagpur. The samples showed no trace of semen. The findings were also inconclusive as to whether the girls were murdered.
The issue even figured in the Parliament, with union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde saying, “It appears that all the three girls were subjected to sexual abuse before being murdered.” But the forensic findings could undermine the trial, if the culprits care caught.
The panicky district police sought a second opinion from the experts of forensic department of government medical college on the issue. In response, the department sought more evidences to arrive at a definite conclusion. It asked the police for more information, including location of the well, clips of videography of the post mortem and the statements of the villagers that police recorded after the incident. If the department gets the details, it would help them understand what happened and how the girls were killed.
Pradip Dixit, the head of the forensic department said they have not received the details from the district police in this regard so far. “We are still waiting for the details,” he said. After getting details, the department would be able to give its final remarks in the case, he added.