Bhandara (Maharashtra): Maharashtra Police on Tuesday detained three people in connection with the rape and murder of three minor sisters, an official said.

An official from Bhandara's Lakhani police station said that three suspects have been taken into custody. "They are being interrogated for their possible role in the rape and murder of the three minor girls," he said.

The police official refused to name the suspects or confirm whether they were acquainted with the victims stating that it would be too premature. The three girls aged five, nine and 11 had gone missing since Feb 14 from Lakhani village of Bhandara district, 65 km from Nagpur. Their mother lodged a complaint with the police after they did not return from school.

Additional Director General of Police Ahmed Javed had said many people have been questioned in the case. Since then, the police have been going around in circles with their investigations, not having found any substantial leads leading to the perpetrators of the crime.

A police official had been suspended for dereliction of duty after the incident. Two days after the incident of rape and murder, some villagers discovered the brutalised bodies of the victims from a well near Murmadi village, following which the police registered a case of 'accidental death'.

It was only after the villagers took to the streets, blocked traffic and protested outside the police station that police finally lodged a case of murder, kidnapping, rape and other serious charges.


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