Police are fired over gang-rape inquiry

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TWO police officers who failed to investigate the disappearance of two teenage girls in India who were gang-raped and later found hanging from a tree have been fired.

The dismissals came as the top official in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, where the incident took place, mocked journalists for asking about the attack.

“Aren’t you safe? You’re not facing any danger, are you?” Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said in Lucknow, the state capital.

“Then why are you worried? What’s it to you?”

The gang rape, with video of the cousins’ bodies hanging from a mango tree, was the top story on India’s 24-hour news stations.

But over the past few days, Uttar Pradesh has also seen the mother of a rape victim attacked and a 17-year-old girl gang-raped by four men. Uttar Pradesh is India’s most populous state, with nearly 200 million people.

Official statistics say about 25,000 rapes are committed every year in India, a nation of 1.2 billion people.

But activists say that number is very low, since women are often pressed by family or police to stay quiet about sexual assaults.

Indian police and politicians have faced growing public anger since the December 2013 gang-rape and murder of a young woman on a New Delhi bus, an attack that sparked national and international outrage over the treatment of women.

The state’s former chief minister has lashed out at the ruling government.

“There is no law and order in the state,” said Mayawati, who uses only one name. “It is the law of the jungle.”