Medical condition of four tribal girls who were abducted, raped is stable: officials

Four minor Pahariya adivasi girls who were abducted from a residential school and gangraped in Pakur on Sunday night in Lawada village had been provided medical care in Pakur and their condition was stable, said district officials. The police have arrested eight men from Janjori village who are between 18 and 28 years of age. One of the nine accused - Prabudhan Hansda - is absconding, said police officials.

“All four girls were provided medical care after the medical examination and their condition is stable. We conducted simultaneous raids in Pakur, Hiranpada, Littipada and arrested eight men who confessed they were all drunk when they made a plan to break into the school building which is in an isolated area and abducted and raped four girls,” said Pakur’s recently-appointed Superintendent of Police Y.S. Ramesh. Pakur lies 350 kms from Ranchi, along the state’s border with West Bengal. “Villagers in Lawada and Janjori cooperated with the police and helped identify the accused,” he said.

On Sunday night, the nine men entered the residential hostel bearing knives and axes and forcibly abducted four girls between 12 and 14 years of age. Two were students of class III in the residential school run by Evangelical Church of India, Chennai and two girls were enrolled in the vocational training in the same building. The men were reported to have bolted the room in which the school staff were staying – a female warden, the headmaster and his wife, two male teachers – from outside. They took the girls to a deserted spot 200 meters from the school and gangraped them. The girls were able to make their way back to the school hostel building two hours later, after the attackers left. All girls belong to the Pahariya, a tribal group categorized as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PTG).

District SP Mr. Ramesh said the residential school lay in an unsecure place ten km from the Littipada police station and 500 meter from the nearest village and had no boundary wall. “There were two chowkidar posted for the entire village but the incident did not come to their notice,” said Mr Ramesh who reached the school premises at 8 am on Monday. A team of forensic experts visited the area later. At the school, there are 125 students, including 60 boys, below 14 years of age. In addition, there were 30 older students learning sewing and craft. On Tuesday, the mission staff shifted older students to other centers of the mission, said officials.