NEW DELHI, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- A local court in India's western state of Maharashtra Wednesday sentenced three men to death for being convicted in rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl, officials said.

The men in their 20s in July last year raped the teenager in Kopardi village of Ahmednagar district, about 302 km east of Mumbai, the capital city of Maharashtra.

"All three convicts in the Kopardi rape and murder case have been given death penalty today by Ahmednagar district court," a court official said. "The conviction was announced by the court on 18th of this month."

The victim, a class 8 student, belonged to the upper-caste Maratha community while as the accused men were low caste Dalits, formerly known as untouchables.

The incident triggered massive outrage across the state with thousands of Marathas taking to the streets for protest.

In December 2012 a fatal gang-rape of a medical student in New Delhi brought spotlight on crimes against women in India.

The incident saw huge protests and resulted in new anti-rape laws in the country. However, brutal sexual attacks against women and girls continue to be reported across India.