Eight men have been arrested in India after two girls, aged 14 and 15, were dragged into a forest and gang-raped.

The two girls, who were friends, had been out celebrating Holi, the Festival of Love, in Khowai, Tripura, and reportedly knew the group of men from the local area.

The group of men, aged between 19 and 22, and the two girls had gone out on Monday to celebrate the festival together, but the then did not return home in the evening, the Times of India reports.

Their families did not contact the police when the girls did not arrive home on Monday night.

Instead, the eight men allegedly took the girls into a nearby forest and gang-raped them until they passed out.

The victims only returned home on Tuesday morning and were suffering with injuries.

The two girls were admitted to hospital where they continue to be treated for their injuries.

After explaining what had happened to them, the girls’ parents contacted the police, leading to the arrests of Bimal Debbarma, Soyel Debbarma, Michael Debbarma, Nishit Debbarma, Biresh Debbarma, Jagu Debbarma, Bikash Debbarma and Hrishit Debbarma.

Speaking about the incident, a police officer said: ‘The accused took the girls to a forest and gang-raped them through the night. When they passed out, the men left presuming them to be dead.’

The eight men accused of gang-rape will appear before a magistrate on Wednesday.

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