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Minor girl gang-raped in heart of capital

- 1 held as protests erupt in Ranchi for arrest of another, rights activists seek 7yr RI

Ranchi, Dec. 19: A 13-year-old tribal girl was abducted and gang-raped by a 32-year-old man and his friend last evening, the brutality of which left her senseless near Bariatu Hill where the crime was committed, but police have acted swiftly, arresting the main culprit in hours and rights activists are rallying around the victim.

The girl, discovered yesterday night by her family members and admitted to RIMS in Bariatu by Human Rights Council of India member Chandra Rashmi, was released today after medical confirmation of rape.

Rashmi also informed Bariatu police around midnight.

Bariatu police station OC E.H. Siddique who said one of the two alleged rapists, Goldie Khan, was arrested from Bariatu at 1.30am today, added that the victim had identified him.

Goldie’s aide is absconding. So far, the key accused has not revealed his friend’s name.

Though police have said Goldie knew the girl’s family well, the arrested man has denied it.

State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) members have said she is “traumatised but stable”.

The SCPCR have decided to book Goldie under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act of 2012. SCPCR has been empowered to implement the provisions of POCSO Act, intervene in any specific case of child sexual abuse and push the state government to effectively redress the matter.

“We will fight to get the accused duo seven years of rigorous imprisonment at the least under POCSO Act,” SCPCR chairperson Rooplakshmi Munda said.

SCPCR member Ranjana Kumari, who met the girl’s mother at RIMS earlier today, said: “I will write to DGP Rajeev Kumar and chief minister Hemant Soren to urge arrest of second accused soon. They will be booked under POCSO. We also want to give financial aid to the victim under the Act and security to her family.”

Kumari also urged counselling sessions for the victim to help her overcome mental trauma.

As news of the gang rape spread, hundreds of persons laid siege near RIMS, which is close to Bariatu police station, from 11am to 3pm, protesting against police inaction and demanding the other alleged rapist be caught.

Staging demonstrations on Ranchi-Booty Road, near RIMS and near Bariatu police station, they also burnt tyres, pelted stones on passing vehicles and engaged in scuffles with pedestrians. Soon, hundreds of vehicles, including school buses, were stuck in the jam. Police had to divert vehicles coming towards Bariatu from Booty More and Karam Toli Chowk towards Kanta Toli and Tagore Hill, respectively.

Around 3pm, the situation became so chaotic that police resorted to mild lathicharge to restore normalcy.

“It took 30 minutes for me to convince demonstrators that I had a patient with me,” said Latehar resident Rajesh Turi who brought his son to RIMS for treatment.

Police said the protest was “uncalled for”.

“We arrested one person and are making all efforts to nab the second man. A section of the crowd deliberately stirred up trouble,” Bariatu OC Siddique said.

SP (city) Manoj Ratan said no one sustained injury in the lathicharge.

According to National Crimes Record Bureau, 48,338 minor rapes were recorded from 2001 to 2011. India saw a shocking 336 per cent increase in minor rapes in the corresponding period, from 2,113 to 7,112. Among states, Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number (9,465) in the period, followed by Maharashtra (6,868) and Uttar Pradesh (5,949). Jharkhand reported 218 cases.