Jharkhand rape and murder: 15 arrested

Collector Jitendra Singh consoling the victim's family at Chatra in Jharkhand on Saturday.

Collector Jitendra Singh consoling the victim's family at Chatra in Jharkhand on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Manob Chowdhary

Main accused still absconding, family provided protection

Fifteen of the 18 accused, including the main accused Dhanu Bhuiyan, in the alleged gang-rape and burning alive of a 16-year-old girl in Chatra district of Jharkhand, were arrested on Saturday. Bhuiyan was arrested at Chauparan in Hazaribagh district, police officials said.

The district administration has constituted a medical board for conducting an autopsy on the half-burnt body. Condemning the incident as “barbaric,” Chief Minister Raghubar Das directed officials to take strict action against the accused.

Police deployed

“The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act has been invoked against them. Policemen have been deployed in the village and the victim’s family has been accorded protection,” Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Shambhu Thakur told journalists.

Mr. Thakur and Chatra Deputy Commissioner Jitendra Singh, along with senior police officials, visited Raja Kendua village under the Ithkhori police station to probe the incident on Saturday.

“Among those arrested are village Mukhiya (head) Tileshwari Devi and Panchayat Samiti member Ranjay Rajak. They are booked on the charges of passing unlawful orders and tampering with evidence,” Mr. Thakur said.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has also been set up to probe the case, Ithkhori Police Inspector Ashok Ram said. Elaborate security arrangements have been made in the village to prevent any untoward incident.

Financial assistance

Chatra Deputy Commissioner Jitendra Singh met the victim’s family and handed over a cheque for ₹1 lakh in financial assistance. Chatra Superintendent of Police Akhilesh B. Verrior and other senior district police officials have been camping in the village since the incident.

On Friday, Bhuyian allegedly abducted the victim, a Class 8 student, from a wedding she was attending at her cousin’s home. The accused gang-raped her before letting her go.

The family approached the village panchayat, which penalised the accused with a fine of ₹50,000 and 101 sit-ups.

An infuriated Dhanu Bhuyian and his men then thrashed the victim’s family. “We ran away to save our lives, but when returned, we found our daughter burnt and dead in our gutted house,” said the victim’s father.

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Printable version | May 22, 2020 8:40:36 PM |

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