India women deaths: Two more found hanging in Uttar Pradesh

Police said one had been raped and tests were being conducted on the other

Police in northern India are investigating the deaths of two more women found hanging from trees in separate incidents in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Police said one of the women had been raped and tests were being conducted on the body of the second woman.

Reports said a 19-year-old woman was found hanging Thursday morning from a tree in a village close to the city of Moradabad area, around four hours east of Delhi. Her family told police she was raped and a post-mortem examination was being carried out.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, another woman was found hanged from a tree in loniyarpurwa village, around 60 miles from the city of Lucknow, the  state capital of  Uttar Pradesh. It is said the 45-year-old woman, who had campaigned against the prevalence of illicit alcohol had been raped before being hanged from a tree.

The state authorities in UP have been under increasing fire since the bodies of two lower-caste girls were found hanging from a mango tree on the edge of their village three weeks ago.

Police initially said they had been raped and hanged by three brothers from a dominant caste. Investigations are continuing. Two police officers have been fired from their jobs after it was said they abused the relatives of the girls and refused to help them.

This week, India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, broke his silence on the issue of violence against women during his first speech to parliament. He urged leaders to stop politicising the incidents.

“All these incident should make us introspect. The country won’t wait and people won’t forget,” he said.

India has been struggling to tackle the problem of sexual violence against women since the 2012 gang-rape and murder of a Delhi student triggered an unprecedented national debate. The 23-year-old woman was assaulted and attacked after boarding an off-duty bus. She died in hospital two weeks later from her injuries.

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