Ankit Sharma Sharma
Green tea Addict | A Tree Hugger | Born for Change
The local Jharkhand Police on Saturday arrested two of the six accused of allegedly abducting and gang-raping five women anti-human trafficking activists in Khunti district earlier this week. The two arrested, were produced before a court, where they confessed to their crime and were sent to judicial custody.
As reported by The Hindustan Times, Additional director general (operations) RK Mallick along with DIG South Chhotanagpur range AV Homkar and Khunti SP Ashwini Kumar Sinha in Ranchi said at a press conference,“The two arrested — Ajub Sandi and Ashish Longo, both residents of West Singhbhum district — confessed to raping the women, video-graphing the act and forcing the victims to drink urine.”
“Sundi and Longo, believed to be members of a rebel outfit People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI) and supporters of Pathalgarhi movement, were also identified by the survivors during TI (test identification) parade,” the ADG added.
The other four accused have also been identified, and a search has been launched to arrest them.
The reason behind rape
ADG Mallick said that the women were assaulted under a conspiracy hatched out of vengeance by a leader of Pathalgarhi movement, John Jonash Tidu, and ruled out the possibility that strong sexual lust drove the perpetrators.
Pathalgarhi movement is a custom in which by many tribal villages declare their gram sabha as the only sovereign authority, rejecting the authority of Centre or state government. The rape survivors have reportedly visited Khunti’s Kochang village to create awareness against social evils, including anti-human trafficking.
“Tidu instigated the accused to give the NGO’s team a lesson for defying the diktats of the gram sabha,” Mallick said, adding, “On his command, the miscreants raided the school premises to abduct the girls. Father Aien intervened and got two nuns associated with the school released and asked the victims to go with them.” As reported by Hindustan Times
On June 19, five tribal women tribal women, aged between 20 and 35 and working with an NGO supported by Christian missionary, were abducted by bike-borne armed men while they were performing a street play at RC Mission School in Kochang village. They drove them into a dense forest about 30 minutes away and gang-raped the women for nearly four hours. However it did not stop there, the women were violated with the branch of a tree, a pistol and tobacco and were forced to drink their urine.
Father Alfonso Alien, the priest who runs the school, allegedly told the victims not to file a complaint, put the rape behind them and move on. The police also arrested Father Aien for suppressing crime and multiple other offences under the Indian penal code.
Meanwhile, the rape survivors are kept under police protection and provided with medical treatment and post-trauma counselling.
Reportedly, a three-member team of the National Commission for Women reached Khunti in order to meet the five victims of gang rape.
Also published on Medium.
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