Anti-Trafficking Activists Gangraped At Gunpoint In Jharkhand

Lester Mason
June 23, 2018

The incident occurred in a village where Patthalgadi had been performed and senior police and administrative officials said Patthalgadi supporters were suspected to be involved. "Our probe is ongoing".

He said the five survivors underwent medical examination conducted by a medical board and their statements were recorded under Section 164 of CrPC before a magistrate.

A group of armed men barged in the middle of the performance, beat up the men and took away the women at gunpoint.

Five young women were allegedly gangraped by half-a-dozen men when they went to Kochang village in Arki police station area of Jharkhand's Khunti district to stage a street play against human trafficking.

Till March 2018, a total of 328 rape cases were registered.

The women worked for the non-governmental organisation Asha Kiran which is supported by a local Christian missionary group, police officer Rajesh Prasad said. Police sources said that troupes like the one that was targeted are being used by some local officials in an attempt to turn locals against Pathalgadi, an anti-establishment self-rule movement popular in several tribal villages.

Sister Julia George, project director at Asha Kiran in Ranchi, told Al Jazeera that men arrived at the scene on bikes and overpowered the NGO workers. They abducted five girls from their team and took them to a jungle and raped them. Authorities announced a reward of 50,000 rupees ($737) for whoever helps locate him. "This is a problem in the area and the police are doing work to educate villagers about this", said Homkar.

The victims didn't inform the administration about the crime.

This is the latest high-profile sexual assault in India.

They filed a police complaint on Wednesday.

But the number of sex attacks has grown since then with some 39,000 rape cases reported nationally in 2016.

In 2012, the fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student on a moving bus in New Delhi sparked street protests. While the men accompanying the women were reportedly thrashed.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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