The two sisters, who were murdered after being raped in UP's Lakhimpur Kheri district, were strangled to death by the accused because they insisted that since they had been violated, the men marry them, police said in a press briefing on Thursday.
"The men took advantage of the fact that they were friendly with the girls and raped them. As the girls then started saying they would have to marry them, the men got angry and strangled them with their dupattas. They later called two of their friends, who helped them hang the girls so that it looked like a suicide," said Superintendent of Police (SP) Sanjeev Suman.
The prime accused, Chotu, had allegedly introduced the girls to three others but was not at the scene of the crime. The three of the six men, who carried out the crime, and the other two, who helped them in a coverup attempt, are from another village close to the girls, he added.
The SP stated that one of the six men, identified as Junaid, was caught this morning in an encounter with the police, who shot him in the leg.
All the six accused have been arrested and booked for murder and rape, along with the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The SP also claimed that the girls were 'not forcibly abducted'.
Further speaking about the post-mortem, he said that the post-mortem examination is being conducted by a panel of three doctors, which will be videographed, and some members of the victims' family will be inside as they wanted to be sure. "We will do everything that the family wants. That is important, we understand," he said.
The six accused in the case have been identified as Chotu, Junaid, Sohail, Arif, Hafiz and Karimuddin. All of them are being further interrogated.
The bodies of the two Dalit minor sisters, aged 15 and 17 years respectively, were found allegedly hanging from a tree outside a village in Nighasan area of Lakhimpur on Wednesday.
The mother of the girls has alleged that her daughters were kidnapped by three bike-borne men at nearly 3 pm on September 14 and were later found hanging from a tree in a cane field. The girls' family further alleged that they were raped and murdered.