Two underage sisters aged, 14 and 16, were found dead hanging from a tree in a village in Kokrajhar district, Assam, India on Friday, June 11, local authorities confirmed.
 
The bodies were reportedly found strung up inside a small forest in Abhayakuti village on Friday night. The remains were immediately cut down and sent to the Kokrajhar Civil Hospital for an autopsy, a senior police officer said.

The two teen sisters were reported missing since Friday afternoon, noted India Today.


 
A preliminary investigation by law enforcement suggested that the cause of death of the two young girls was suicide. However, the family and relatives of the two teens claimed that the girls had no reason to commit suicide, The Economic Times reported.

They suspect the underage children were brutally raped and murdered, their bodies strung up by the assailants after the violent assault to pose their deaths as suicides, local authorities said.
 
 
Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, the Chief Minister of Assam, reportedly visited the family of the deceased girls on Sunday, June 13.


“The two tribal girls died under mysterious circumstances. The police said it looks like a case of murder or suicide under duress. We want the police to find out both aspects of their death and why they died," Sarma said.

"If it is a murder, the accused should be arrested and given appropriate punishment. If it is a case of suicide, then the probe should be on what led the sisters to commit the act. I have directed the police to probe both these angles,” he continued.


Five suspects have been reportedly detained by the police for questioning. Sarma said that two of the alleged rapists deleted their mobile records before their arrests, but the police have substantial evidence that proves they spoke to the deceased girls for more than an hour on the day they were reported missing, according to The Hindu.


“We have arrested five persons in connection with the incident and are questioning them. The arrested persons are residents of the area to which the victims belonged. The post-mortem reports will give further leads on the exact nature of the deaths. Further investigations are on,” Thube Prateek Vijay Kumar, Kokrajhar superintendent of police said.


Sarma reportedly said that similar crimes against women have been occurring in districts of lower Assam and that a sense of insecurity has developed among the residents. The Chief Minister was reportedly accompanied by Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) Chief Executive Member Pramod Boro, United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) legislator Lawrence Islary, and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ashok Singhi.

Representation Image Two underage sisters, aged 14 and 16, were found dead hanging from a tree in a village in Kokrajhar district, Assam, India on Friday, June 11. This is a representational image. Pixabay