An mother of one of the girls holds a schoolbook that belonged to her daughter. Photo: AFP
Lucknow: The father of one of two girls gang-raped and lynched in northern India said he had refused compensation from the state government he blamed for failing to stop the horrendous crime.
The father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said he only wanted justice for the men who attacked his daughter and niece, aged 14 and 12, who were found hanging from a tree on Wednesday last week.
The father made the comments after a string of politicians descended on the dirt-poor village in Budaun district of Uttar Pradesh amid growing uproar over the attacks.
Indian demonstrators protest against the Chief Minister of the state of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav. Photo: AFP
"We have only made one demand from each politician who has visited us in the last two days, we want justice," he said. "We want the same treatment to the accused that they gave to our daughters - they should be hung from a tree."
Five people have been arrested over the attack which occurred when the cousins, from low castes, headed into the fields on Tuesday night to relieve themselves because their homes, like most in the village, do not have toilets.
Three detained suspects have confessed to the gang rape and slaying, and the search for two other suspects continued, police said.
A vigil in Delhi to protest against the gang-rape of the two girls. Photo: AP
The three suspects detained so far are cousins in their 20s from an extended family, and they face murder and rape charges, crimes punishable by the death penalty.
Authorities also have arrested two police officers and suspended another two for failing to investigate when the father of one of the teenagers reported the girls missing. The families of the victims have said police could have "saved" the girls but claimed they refused to help when they found out they were from a lower caste.
"The Yadav government had offered us 500,000 rupees ($9060) ... We won't take it, it is the administration that could have saved my daughters and didn't," the father said on Sunday.
Rights groups and political opponents have accused the government in Uttar Pradesh, headed by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, of failing to tackle crimes against women.
Mayawati, a former chief minister of the state who is regarded as the political champion of India's lower castes, became the latest high-profile figure to visit the village on Sunday.
"In all of Uttar Pradesh there is no law and order, there is jungle raj [rule] here," Mayawati said after landing her helicopter in Katra Shahadatganj village, some 200 kilometres south-east of Delhi.
There is a long history of women and girls from India's lowest castes of being sexually abused by people from higher castes.
Uttar Pradesh is deeply divided along caste lines.
India revised its laws on sex attacks following the December 2012 gang-rape of a student on a bus in Delhi which triggered outrage, but they have done little to stem the tide of sex attacks.
A lawmaker from the socialist Samajwadi Party which runs the state also visited the families earlier on Sunday and Rahul Gandhi, who led India's Congress party to a crushing defeat in national elections last month, met the families on Saturday.