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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Take back your money: Bhandara rape victims' mom

Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times  Nagpur, March 03, 2013
First Published: 19:58 IST(3/3/2013) | Last Updated: 01:58 IST(4/3/2013)

The mother of the three children who were allegedly raped and murdered in Bhandara district in eastern Maharashtra has threatened to return the state government compensation of Rs. 10 lakh if the police do not arrest the culprits in three days.

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Three sisters, aged 6, 9 and 11 of Murmadi village in Bhandara district in eastern Maharashtra, went missing from their school on February 14 and their bodies were later found in a well near the village on February 16.

It has now been around 20 days the case came to the light but police have failed to make any arrest and still struggling to make headway in the investigations.

"I have told the police about some suspicious persons who might be linked with the incident. However, nothing was done in this direction," rued the mother of the victims while talking to Hindustan Times.

The investigating agency has shifted its focus to the relatives of the victims and it felt that persons known to the family might be involved in the case. The victims' mother earlier lodged a formal complaint against her mother-in-law for harassing her and her daughters. She even suspected her role in the case.

The superintendent of police (SP) of Bhandara, Arati Singh said, "We feel that it was the handiwork of someone who know them and that's why investigation has now been focused on the relatives of the victims." The police have got some vital clues which might help them in cracking the case, she added.

The police have questioned and interrogated several relatives of the victims, including their maternal uncle, Pankaj and mother's maternal uncle, Arun Gotmare.

However, the recent forensic findings rattled the police department. The findings on the basis of the collection of vaginal swabs indicated that the girls were not raped.

The findings were also not sure whether they were murdered. The girls were neither straggled to death, nor were they poisoned. The findings had failed to pinpoint the exact cause of the death.

Earlier, the autopsy report claimed that girls were raped and murdered.

The post mortem report of the Bhandara district hospital, a video of the autopsy and a few photographs of the well from which bodies of the victims were recovered are with the forensic department in Nagpur.

However, Pradip Dixit of forensic department says more evidences are needed to make a conclusion remark. The department has asked the police for more information, including location of the well.

The statements of the villagers that the police recorded would also help them to understand what happened and how the girls were killed. "It is only then that we will be in a position to give a final word," he said.

About 10 persons from the area were under the scanner but even they were taken out of suspicion after a thorough interrogation by the investigation team.

The anguished villagers of Murmadi on Sunday launched a rasta roko agitation protesting the slow pace of investigation by the district police.

"It's sad that police could not reach the conclusion in this over-sensitive issue after over a fortnight and it's even more surprising because we have a woman police SP in the district," rued the former zilla parishad member of the area, Rajesh Bante.

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