Three schoolgoing sisters raped, killed in Bhandara
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Autopsies on the bodies of three schoolgoing sisters who were found dead in a farm well over the weekend have shown they were raped and murdered. Police have picked up two suspects who knew the girls.
Eleven-year-old Tanuja Borkar 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.
District superintendent of police Aarti Singh said, "The post mortem report has confirmed they were raped and then murdered." The report was received late on Monday night.
Singh declined to confirm local suspicion that an old enmity that the girls' family had with another family led to the murders. "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 two suspects knew the girls, Singh said, but would not elaborate. She said that the owner of the farm which has the well had been interrogated, but "he does not seem to be involved".
The sisters, students of class 5, 4 and 1 respectively, had not returned from school on February 14. "All we know about their movement on the day is that 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," Singh said.
"The schools are in Lakhni town, which is just about half a kilometre from the village," the SP said. She said she had asked doctors for the time of the children's deaths.