A woman in her late forties and a mother of three was gang-raped and fatally mutilated in a posh Ranchi locality on Monday, ripping the veil off terrifying lapses in the safety mechanism of a capital city, where at least a dozen sexual assaults have taken place this year.
The victim bled to death at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) around noon, an estimated six hours after she was attacked by four unknown men inside an abandoned asbestos shack at Harmu in the Argora police station area.
Local residents found her in a semi-conscious state around 10am. A traffic constable posted at Harmu Chowk informed Argora police, who arrived an hour later and took the woman to RIMS.
Sources at the state-run hospital said she died of “trauma and excessive bleeding from her private parts”.
A doctor, who attended to her, confirmed that her genitalia had been badly mutilated with sharp-edged objects. He also said that there were 99 per cent chances that she was raped more than once before being fatally battered with blunt rods and sticks.
“She was in deep trauma and wouldn’t stop bleeding despite our concerted efforts. We did all we could do, but couldn’t save her,” he said, not willing to be named.
Argora police station in-charge R.S. Patel said the woman — aged between 45 and 50 years — was a resident of Lahinagar in Pundag, 12km from Harmu. “We found her inside an abandoned shack. She was barely able to talk,” he said, indicating that police were yet to identify the culprits.
While she was being wheeled into RIMS, at least three news channels managed to get bytes of the semi-conscious victim who just said four persons raped her.
Patel, however, refrained from drawing conclusions, saying things were “complicated” at this stage because the victim was dead and there “are no witnesses”.
“Prima facie, it is a case of murder, but gang-rape too cannot be ruled out because of the nature of her injuries. However, we can confirm the same only after we receive a medical report in a day or two. All the woman told us was that she was married and had three children. She said she was brought to the place in an auto, but couldn’t name anyone,” the police officer said.
DSP, Hatia, Indrajit Mahata said they had located the victim’s house in Pundag.
“She hails from a humble background and her husband is a cook. It has come to light that she came to Kadru, 8km from Pundag, to help arrange the birthday party of her granddaughter at her eldest son’s place. She left Kadru, barely 4km from Harmu, in an auto around 7.30pm, but never reached home,” DSP Mahata added.
Sources said she went to meet her mother near Argora railway station from Kadru and drank hadiya, the local brew, there. She was last seen walking towards Argora Chowk auto stand around 8.30pm.
Police have asked her husband to come to Argora and receive the body. The details of the autopsy and medical report are expected in two days.
This is the 13th rape in the capital this year. Police sources said one incident was reported in January, six in February and five in March.
On March 7, a 27-year-old woman had turned up in a Ranchi court to allege that the zonal manager of a private bank had lured her with a job offer and raped her in a hotel room three days ago.
The resident of Jasidih, who recorded her statement before a first-class magistrate, was shockingly the fourth victim in 48 hours. Two young women and a mentally challenged teenager were also raped in the city on March 4 and 5.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau, Ranchi topped the charts in 2010 with a staggering 92 rapes and 183 murders. In contrast, steel city Jamshedpur saw 38 rapes and 113 murders, while coal town Dhanbad registered 58 murders and 32 rapes.
Why do you think a woman is so vulnerable in Ranchi?