India

India's Badaun: Police investigate 'rape of two girls'

Villagers collect near tree where the girls were found in Badaun
Image caption An alleged gang rape and murder of two teenagers in Badaun sparked global outrage last year

Police in India's Uttar Pradesh state are investigating the alleged kidnap and gang rape of two girls at gunpoint.

Relatives say the cousins were raped by men from a neighbouring village in Badaun district late on Tuesday.

The girls, said to be 12 or 13, have been examined and medical reports are awaited. Five men have been detained.

Badaun gained notoriety last year after two girls were found hanged - relatives alleged rape and murder but authorities concluded they took their own lives.

The latest incident happened in Jareef Nagar, at least 50km (31 miles) away from Katra Sahadatgunj, where last May's incident took place.

The father of one of the girls lodged a complaint with police saying that five men living in a neighbouring village had gang-raped the two girls at gunpoint.

Senior police official Saumitra Yadav told BBC Hindi that the girls went missing when they had apparently gone out to relieve themselves as they had no toilet at home.

Last May two cousins were found hanged from a tree in the village of Katra Sahadatgunj.

At the time a local post-mortem examination confirmed multiple sexual assaults and death due to hanging.

But in August, federal investigators said new forensic tests had concluded the girls had not been sexually assaulted. Three men who had been arrested were freed in September.

Earlier this year the girls' families challenged the investigators' report in the district court, demanding further investigations in the case.

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