The home ministry on Monday shot off a letter to the Uttar Pradesh government asking it to explain why the stringent clauses of Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act were not slapped on those accused of raping and murdering two cousins in Badaun.
"The law is there. It is to protect the SCs and STs from atrocities. It was a clear case of atrocity on a weaker section of the society. We do not know why the state government has not slapped it (clauses) against the accused," minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju said.
He said the letter to the UP government has been sent on Monday.
"It was a heinous crime and the guilty must be given exemplary punishment," he said.
Five accused - three brothers Pappu Yadav, Awadhesh Yadav and Urvesh Yadav and constables Chhatrapal Yadav and Sarvesh Yadav - have been arrested in the case that has sparked nation-wide outrage.
The two teenage girls, who were cousins aged 14 and 15 years, were allegedly gang-raped and murdered with their bodies found hanging from a mango tree in a village in Ushait area in Badaun. The girls went missing on May 27 and their bodies were found the next day.