Two India girls gang raped and hanged in Uttar Pradesh

image copyrightAP
image captionEver since the fatal gang rape of a student in Delhi in December 2012, there have been public protests and an outcry against sexual violence

Two teenage girls found hanging from a tree in a village in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh had been gang raped, police say.

A man has been held over the murders of the girls, who police said were 14 and 16.

Three policemen have been removed from duty for not registering cases when the girls were reported missing.

Violence and discrimination against women in India remains deeply entrenched.

Scrutiny of sexual violence in India has grown since the 2012 gang rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus.

The government tightened laws on sexual violence last year after widespread protests following that attack.

Senior police official Atul Saxena told the BBC the two girls, who were cousins, went missing on Tuesday night.

Their bodies were found in Katra Shahadatganj village in Badaun district on Wednesday morning.

Mr Saxena said the police were looking for two more men in connection with the crime.

A post-mortem examination has confirmed rape and death due to hanging, police say.

"We are still investigating how the girls went missing and were raped and hung from a tree," Mr Saxena said.

Earlier this year, a 20-year-old tribal woman was gang raped in eastern West Bengal state - allegedly on the orders of village elders who objected to her relationship with a man.

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