Ranchi, Dec. 18: A Santhali woman was gang-raped for 10 hours in a Pakur village, some 400km from the state capital, through last night in a gruesome incident that saw police promptly swing into action today to arrest five of the six accused, including a bank employee and a para-teacher.
The 20-year-old, who recently got married to a farmer from Khajurdanga village, some 18km from Pakur district headquarters, has been admitted at sadar hospital, where doctors said she was stable.
Police said the tribal woman was going to her Khajurdanga home from Pakur railway station, a 15km distance, and had reached midway at Torai village around 8pm when three men pounced on her.
The trio, who came on a bike, dragged her to a bush and raped her. With three more men joining them, the brutality continued for 10 hours. Later, the men tied her hands and dumped her near Solgariya culvert at Torai and fled.
Early this morning, some villagers found her unconscious, with wounds and bruises all over her body, near the culvert. She was immediately rushed to the sadar hospital. The nearest thana at Hiranpur was told.
"The victim stated she was returning from a relative's house when the crime took place. She got off a local train at Pakur station yesterday around 7pm and took a bus to come to Torai. From there, she started walking towards her home, some 7-8km away, when she was attacked. She could identify five people, not the sixth accused. All of them are apparently in the age group of 30-40 years," Hiranpur OC Babu Banshi said after recording the victim's statement.
Those arrested have been identified as bank peon Joseph Marandi as well as Babudhan, Azizul - all residents of Khajurdanga village - and para-teacher Agaz Mohammad and Sanjay from Torai. All were picked up from their houses this morning.
Pakur SP Ajay Linda told The Telegraph while the police had arrested the five named accused, a hunt was on for the sixth. "The victim spoke about one more unknown culprit. He will be arrested soon," he said, promising strict action against the accused.
IPC Section 376D (rape of a woman by one or more persons) and SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act have been slapped on the accused.
On how the victim was doing, SP Linda said: "She is undergoing medical tests and instructions have been given for her proper treatment."
Pakur civil surgeon Dr Praveen Kumar Ram said the woman was traumatised. "She is complaining about body pain and some other problems. Her medical tests are on."
Almost exactly three years after the Delhi bus gang-rape on December 16, 2012, shook a nation, women on the move continue to be targets of barbarity as the Pakur case proves.
From January to October 2015, 1,064 cases of rape have been lodged in Jharkhand.