3 girls found dead in India well; mother calls for culprits to be hanged
February 21, 2013 -- Updated 1412 GMT (2212 HKT)
Indian students in a One Billion Rising rally in New Delhi on February 14, 2013.
- NEW: Four people are being questioned in the case, the district police chief says
- The bodies of three girls aged 6, 9 and 11 are found at the bottom of a well
- Police say initial medical reports suggest the girls were sexually assaulted
- The girls' mother says police should have acted more quickly
New Delhi (CNN) -- The mother of three girls who were found dead at the bottom of a well in western India after they were allegedly raped has called for those responsible to be caught and publicly hanged.
The bodies of the three girls -- aged 6, 9 and 11 -- were found in the well in Bhandara district in Maharashtra state on Saturday, police said.
They were reported missing two days earlier, said A.R. Tiwari, a local police inspector.
The shocking news comes as India is still reeling from the horrific case in New Delhi in which five men and a juvenile are accused of gang raping and murdering a 23-year-old woman in December. The five men are currently on trial.
Opinion: India can learn respect for women
India rape case drags on
Report: India has failed its children
'Slumdog' star weighs in on gang rape
Preliminary medical reports suggest the girls drowned, and that they had been sexually assaulted, Tiwari said.
Four people are being questioned in connection with the assault, district police chief Arti Singh told CNN Thursday. No one has yet been arrested.
A local police officer in charge of the area where the incident took place has been suspended and replaced by Tiwari, she said.
In an interview with CNN affiliate IBN Thursday, the victims' mother said police didn't respond quickly enough to the girls' disappearance.
Challenges of being a woman in India
"Had the police searched for the girls in the neighboring areas, then they would have been found," said the woman, whose identity was withheld in accordance with Indian laws protecting the victims and families in sexual assault cases.
But police denied her allegations.
"We acted promptly," Tiwari said. "Wireless messages were issued the same day and police teams fanned out to find the girls."
The mother is nonetheless urging police to catch those responsible quickly.
"I appeal to the government to capture the culprits and hang them in public," she said.
Part of complete coverage on
July 12, 2014 -- Updated 0008 GMT (0808 HKT)
A makeup artist, writer and model who loves monkeys and struggles with demons.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
Lionel Messi's ability is not in question -- but will the World Cup final allow him to emerge from another footballing legend's shadow?
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1029 GMT (1829 HKT)
Why are Iraqi politicians dragging their feet while ISIS militants fortify their foothold across the country?
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1332 GMT (2132 HKT)
An elephant, who was chained for 50 years, cries tears of joy after being freed in India. CNN's Sumnima Udas reports.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 0732 GMT (1532 HKT)
Beneath a dusty town in northeastern Pakistan, CNN explores a cold labyrinth of hidden tunnels that was once a safe haven for militants.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 2249 GMT (0649 HKT)
CNN's Ravi Agrawal asks whether Narendra Modi can harness the country's potential to finally deliver growth.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 0444 GMT (1244 HKT)
CNN's Ben Wedeman visits the Yazji family and finds out what it's like living life in the middle of conflict.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 1423 GMT (2223 HKT)
Israel has deployed its Iron Dome defense system to halt incoming rockets. Here's how it works.
Even those who aren't in the line of fire feel the effects of the chaos that has engulfed Iraq since extremists attacked.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1634 GMT (0034 HKT)
Plane passengers are used to paying additional fees, but one airport in Venezuela is now charging for the ultimate hidden extra -- air.
Today's five most popular stories