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Innocent trio’s jail stay drags on

Birsa jail in Ranchi where the youths are lodged

Ranchi, June 21: Three Dhurwa youths, wrongly arrested for allegedly raping and murdering a 17-year-old girl who was later found to be alive, are yet to walk free from Birsa Munda Central Jail three days after the girl recorded her statement before a Ranchi court.

While police have already informed the trial court of the trio’s innocence, they are yet to receive an order to release Ajit, Amarjit and Abhimanyu.

Ajit’s cousin Chandan Kumar told The Telegraph that his brother and two others were still languishing in Birsa jail for crimes they did not commit.

“Firstly, police sent three innocent youths to jail. Now that the truth has come out, procedural delays are preventing their release. This is really scary for all law-abiding citizens of the country,” he said on Saturday.

Public prosecutor B.N. Sharma said police on Friday submitted final forms informing the trial court that the trio were innocent. “The release order could not be issued due to the absence of magistrate in-charge S.N. Bara, who is conducting the trial,” he added.

Asked about the tentative date for release of the order, Sharma said: “Sunday is a holiday and the court is closed on Monday because of the mayoral polls. Nothing can be done before Tuesday.”

The trio’s ordeal started when a girl’s partially burnt body was recovered from an isolated place between Gosaidih and Majhi Toli in Bundu police station area, about 40km from district headquarters, on February 15.

On February 19, a police probe suggested that the victim was gang-raped and killed before being set afire.

Police said that the girl hailing from Sai Colony, Chutia, had gone to Dhurwa dam with her boyfriend Ajit for a Valentine’s Day date. There, she was gang-raped and killed by Ajit and his friends Amarjit Kumar and Abhimanyu.

The girl’s parents even identified the body. Later, the three youths were arrested and sent to jail.

On June 14, some friends of the jailed youths spotted the girl at RIMS and took her to SP (rural) S.K. Jha, where she said she was alive and the three were innocent.

DGP Rajeev Kumar suspended three police officers on June 17. The next day, the girl was produced before the court of judicial magistrate Manoj Kumar Sharma, where her statement was recorded.