Ranchi, June 22: A group of five women went to stage a street play to raise awareness against human trafficking at a village in Jharkhand. Unfortunately, they themselves became victims of another crime--rape.
According to reports the five women were gang-raped by a group of men after an argument started over their presence at Kochang village in Jharkhand's Khunti district.
The police said the accused were supporters of Patthalgadi, a rebellion underway in many Adivasi villages of the state that have rejected the authority of the elected government. All the villages that support the rebellion have put up giant plaques declaring their gram sabha as the only sovereign authority and banning "outsiders" from their areas.
Khunti SP Ashwani Kumar Sinha told The Indian Express, "An FIR has been registered. We have spoken to the victims. They have told us that the accused asked questions like why they had not come when they (patthalgadi supporters) staged a programme. They also questioned their presence as it was related to the government's initiatives. The men then allegedly assaulted them sexually. Efforts are on to identify the culprits. We have also formed a medical board for examination of the victims."
Reports added that the women were hired by an NGO to stage street plays against human trafficking.
In the last few months, the nation has witnessed alarming rise in the number of cases of rapes, especially of minor girls. Angry citizens of the country protested on roads in various parts of the country over the horrific rape cases reported from Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua and Uttar Pradesh's Unnao in April.
Both the cases caught the attention of the nation because of its barbarity and open support for the accused from a section of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). After its "studied silence" over crimes against women, especially minor girls, the Narendra Modi government approved the ordinance to allow courts to award death penalty to those convicted of raping girls under 12 in April.