Senior police officials including Jharkhand Director General of Police (DGP) reached Latehar on Sunday as part of investigation into the rape of a tribal policewoman on August 21 by armed men on National Highway 75.

The policewoman, a constable in the district police in her 20s, was on her way from Ranchi to Garhwa accompanying her family bring the body of her youngest sister who had been killed a day earlier, home for burial when the family was stopped on the outskirts of Latehar town and robbed by a group of six to seven armed men who later raped her at a spot nearby before allowing the family to go. Five persons had been detained on Saturday but no have been arrested yet.

“The investigation is still at preliminary stage and we are interrogating the suspects. Based on some details that have come out so far, we cannot rule out that the woman may have been specifically targeted by this group of men. We will take steps to ensure the guilty are arrested,” said Jharkhand DGP Rajeev Kumar who visited Jungledagga the spot of the attack with ADGP (CID) K S Meena, Assistant DGP SN Pradhan, Inspector General (Palamu Zone) MS Bhatia and other CID and district police officials.

After the family reached home in Latehar, they were called to Latehar police station on Thursday afternoon to report the matter after police officials who visited the spot after getting news of the robbery found the policewoman’s belongings, including a photo in uniform, at the spot. The policewoman then reported that she had been gangraped.

CPI (M) Politburo member and former general secretary of All India Democratic Women’s Association Brinda Karat who was in Ranchi on Saturday also met police officials. “In her conversations with me on the phone from Latehar she shared that some police personnel in Latehar had made extremely harsh comments against her. I conveyed this to the DGP and he ensured that all care will be taken to protect her,” said Ms. Karat.

“My brother in law and sister had been killed a day earlier. We were carrying my youngest sister’s body for burial. My older sister had high fever and malaria. We were in shock and so scared, we could not think of what to do,” said her sister who was also travelling with the family at the time of the attack.

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