Hazaribagh, Aug. 30: The Class XI girl, who was gang-raped for two days by a police officer’s son and his friends, appeared in court today to give her statement, an act of immense courage that signalled she was ready to stand up to the goons who brutalised her and who had been targeting her and her sister for months.
Right now, two of the accused — Dhanu Ram, son of vigilance inspector Arjun Ram posted in Ranchi, and his friend Anurag Basu — are absconding, while sadar police arrested Sonu and Ritesh from near the site of crime last night.
How the quartet got keys to the vacant summer house owned by Bengal businessman-cum-former Trinamul MP Swapan Sadhan Bose (not current MP as reported) is unclear.
The girl’s statement was recorded in the court of judicial magistrate Divya Mishra. Police also produced the arrested duo Ritesh and Sonu in court from where they were forwarded to Jai Prakash Narayan Central Jail.
Dhanu’s father Ram said he wanted his son to surrender. “It is hard for me to believe my son committed such a crime,” he told The Telegraph from Ranchi.
“Agar wo doshi hai to use fansi par chadha do, main kisi keemat par nahi manunga ki wo aisa kar sakta hai (If found guilty, hang him, but I won’t believe he can do this),” he said.
Daughter of a small-time khatal owner, the girl was kidnapped on August 26 afternoon from near her home in Deepugarha, taken to the Bose house and brutalised by four men in their early 30s for two days.
She was released on August 28 after rapists threatened her with “dire consequences”, including similar assault on her sister, if she told anyone. The girl and her family went to the police yesterday morning.
“We are trying to arrest Dhanu, Anurag and the caretaker. Our raid teams have fanned out in their search,” DSP Arvind Kumar Singh said.
A relative of the girl said “rebel fear” drove the family to Hazaribagh city from Mungra village in Ichak block. The girl’s father constructed a shanty near Canary Hill Road from where he started selling milk. “But events have proven we are unsafe in the heart of the town,” he said.
Over the last two months, Dhanu and his friends were teasing the girl and her elder sister. “No one dared to raise their voice against Dhanu as his father is a police officer,” the relative said.
Neighbours said the girl, quiet and average in studies, helped her father run the dairy business. “The girl is hardworking, comes from a struggling family,” he said.
Outrage is building up in the city. “Dhanu was involved in an ATM break-in and came out of jail six months ago. Due to his father’s position, he went around terrorising people in Deepugarha. He and his family should be boycotted socially,” said a resident.
On court campus, people beat up two youths, Deepak Raj and Sandeep Kumar, claiming they were Dhanu’s friends.
Former parliamentarian and CPI state secretary Bhuvaneshwar Mehta supported social boycott of rapists. Agitators of Mahila Uthan Samiti and Democratic Students’ Organisation (DSO) demanded rapists be hanged and sadar police station OC Dinesh Kumar Singh be dismissed. DSO protesters also burnt the effigy of chief minister Hemant Soren.