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Preacher gang raped by four men in Godda ashram

Two arrested, CM asks SP to act as Opposition flays state government
PTI reported that at the time of the incident there were four women preachers and a sadhu at the ashram. (Representational image)
PTI reported that at the time of the incident there were four women preachers and a sadhu at the ashram. (Representational image)

Our Correspondent   |   Ranchi   |   Published 08.09.20, 08:11 PM

A 30-year-old woman preacher was allegedly gang raped by four armed men after they broke into the ashram where she was living in Godda, some 300km from capital Ranchi, in the wee hours of Tuesday.

According to a communique issued by the chief minister’s office on Tuesday evening, an FIR had been lodged at the Mufassil police station in Godda against four persons, two of whom have been named.

Godda SP Y.S. Ramesh told the media that one Dipak Rana had been detained from Pasra village. “We have lodged a case of gang rape based on the statement of the victim. We have formed a three-member special investigation team. All culprits will be nabbed soon,” he said.

A police officer said the victim’s statement had been recorded at Mahila police station after which she was taken for a medical examination. “According to the victim, the incident occurred between 2.30am and 3am on Tuesday,” he said.

According to local sources, the preacher was staying at Maharshi Mehi Ashram at Ranidih in the Pathwara-Kathon area of Godda. PTI reported that at the time of the incident there were four women preachers and a sadhu at the ashram.

Although a native of Bokaro, the preacher had been staying at an ashram in Varanasi before coming to Godda a few months back.  

The local electronic media in Godda reported that the preacher called upon both the Centre and state to work towards safeguarding women and demanded no less than the capital punishment for her tormenters.

“They (her attackers) were four in number. They violated my body. It is very difficult for a sadhvi to tolerate this pain, which will be with me for the rest of my life. I demand the death sentence for all four culprits through a speedy trial,” she told a local television channel.

“How can a country be safe if such instances occur with children and women time and again. It’s time that governments work seriously towards saving the dignity of women rather than offering piecemeal solutions,” she added.

Chief minister Hemant Soren took cognisance of the crime and directed the Godda police to ensure the case was cracked soon. The communique issued by his office confirmed that the two accused were Deepak Rana and Ashish Rana. “The siblings are residents of Pathwara in Godda. Rana is a history sheeter and has served prison time,” the communique said.

Earlier, after news of the crime broke, local BJP MP Nishikant Dubey took to twitter to criticise the Hemant Soren government.

His party criticised the JMM-led coalition government for the deteriorating law and order situation. "It seems that criminals and Naxalites now have a free run in Jharkhand. During our rule, Naxalism was on the verge of collapse. But over the last seven months, they are rearing their head again. Instances of rape and murder are rising but the government seems least concerned,” said BJP spokesperson Pratul Shahdeo.

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