India police on Thursday launched a manhunt for those suspected of raping and killing three child sisters ages five to 11 years old, according to the Associated Press.
The girls' bodies were discovered a week ago in a well in Bhandara in western India, police officer Javed Ahmed told AP.
Their mother accused the authorities of ignoring her alert, telling a local CNN affiliate, that the "police did not take the case seriously and did nothing for two days,” reported AP.
Fellow villagers joined her in a show of frustration on Wednesday, shutting down shops, slashing tires and obstructing a major highway to draw attention to the case, said AP.
Police originally chalked the incident up to "an accident," according to the entertainment news blog EOTM Media.
“It is unacceptable," Minister Praful Patel, a parliamentarian who represents Bhandara district reportedly said, adding, "All of us have to hang our heads in shame."
The state has since launched an investigation, said AP, and the prime minister sent the girls' relatives the equivalent of $18,300 in consolation.
The news comes a month after a young Indian woman died after being gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi, a case that brought international condemnation.