Court asks Jharkhand government to submit action taken report

There were protests here on Friday against the alleged rape and killing of a six-year-old girl who went missing on Wednesday and was found dead with strangulation marks on her neck and injuries on her genitals in the early hours of Thursday in Doranda. The girl, a student of class II, went missing soon after she returned home from school on Thursday. Her mutilated body was found in an under-construction building across the road from her residence by her relatives.

The Jharkhand High Court, responding to news reports about the rape of the girl and the rape and murder of two teenaged girls in Kusmapahari village in Jamatara on April 25, on Friday asked the State government to file an action taken report on atrocities against women and girls in the State by the first week of May.

Even as groups of men and political activists from Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) carried out marches in parts of the city including Doranda and Albert Ekka Chowk, women activists as well as women residents of the locality in Doranda, where the girl’s family lives said they were being pressured by male residents of the locality to not take part in protests.

“On Thursday the women in the locality went out on the road in large numbers. We stayed on the road even during the child’s mayyat (funeral procession). Today [on Friday] the men in the locality started putting pressure on us to stay indoors and said we will only bring a bad name by our protests. But we will not let this issue die down, and the girls and women here are not safe till the police catch those guilty,” said Shama Praveen, the family’s neighbour.

“A group of All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) activists reached the locality on Friday noon and stayed with the family for two hours. But some men claiming to be the family’s distant relatives started putting pressure on us against organising public protests demanding swift police action,” said Aparna Bara, a Ranchi-based member of AIDWA.

“Our investigations are still on,” said Ranchi Superintendent of Police Saket Kumar Singh. Doranda police on Thursday night detained two men from the neighbourhood, including the owner of the under-construction house where the child’s body was found. They were allowed to go off after enquiries on Friday, said a police official.