Woman gang-raped by 17 in Dumka, NCW expresses concern
The National Commission for Women on Thursday, expressing serious concern over an alleged rape of a woman by 17 men in Jharkhand’s Dumka district, sent a letter to the state police and asked it to complete its probe within two months.
According to a police official, the survivor in her complaint said that she was raped while her husband was held hostage by 17 men, when they were returning home on Tuesday night.
The matter came to fore on Wednesday after the victim lodged a complaint in Mufassil police station in Dumka, a Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)’s stronghold.
According to Dumka SP Ambar Lakra, a person named Mangal Mohli has been arrested in the case.
“One Mangal Mohli has been arrested in this case while raids are on by special investigation team (SIT) for remaining 16 accused,” he said.
The NCW took a suo motu cognisance of the matter, it said in a tweet, adding that it had shot a letter to Jharkhand DGP MV Rao and Dumka SP for time bound probe and appraising the commission of the action taken as per the set protocols. Police sources said that NCW has asked for a detailed report in two months’ time.
As the news broke yesterday, Dumka DIG Sudarshan Mandal and SP Ambar Lakra swung into action by visiting the local government hospital to meet the survivor, and initiated a probe by launching a manhunt against the accused.
An official of the Mufassil police station, who did not wish to be named, said that the incident happened when the woman was returning home with her husband from a local village haat.
“The survivor, in her late thirties, said that the couple were on their way back to home from a local market when a few miscreants blocked their way and started misbehaving. Thereafter, they forced them upon her, while her husband was beaten and later tied up for protesting. Later, they raped her in turns,” he said, adding that she came to the police station with her husband in the morning to lodge the complaint.
“All the culprits were drunk and some have been identified based on the woman’s statement. Soon, everyone will be held as different teams are conducting raids across suspected areas,” the official added.
Reacting strongly to the incident, former minister and ex-MLA of Dumka, Louise Marandi snubbed the Hemant Soren government of having surrendered before the criminals.
“Since formation of JMM-Congress-RJD coalition government in December last year, over 1,300 incidents rape and violence against women and children have been reported, which expose state police’s inefficiency to control the situation. Strong policing can’t be expected without a strong government at the helm,” she said. Marandi demanded proper security and safety to the woman and her family and formation of a medical board for scientific investigation into the case.
In a separate incident, police arrested three persons and detained two others from Khunti district in connection to gang rape of a minor under Karra police station area last month. Informing the media on Wednesday, Khunti SP Ashutoh Shekhar said that those arrested were identified as Anil Pardiha, Ashish Pardiha, and Ajay Dhan.
The incident occurred on November 30 when the survivor was returning home after visiting a local fair in Padampur village along with her friends. After registering the case, police formed a seven-member special investigation team (SIT) to crack the case. Police sources said that both the survivor and accused were known to each other. However, the accused plotted rape after she stopped talking to them.