Once again, rape and murder has India outraged—this time the killing of three young sisters, aged 7, 9, and 11, reports the Guardian (the AP corrects the age of the youngest girl). The three girls, who lived in a remote central India village in Maharashtra province, went missing on Feb. 14 on their way home from school. Police found the girls' bodies in an old well two days later and called their deaths "accidental." Only after angry villagers blocked a national highway on Wednesday did state officials take notice.
The head of the local police station has been suspended and district police have taken over the investigation, putting 30 officers on the case. "We've got some strong, solid indications and we're working very hard," says the female superintendent. The government offered 1 million rupees ($18,500) in compensation to the girls' mother, a widow and laborer, but it only angered her. "No amount of money is going to bring my girls back," she says. "I appeal to the government to catch the culprits early and hang them."