Ranchi: The six men who abducted five women performing a street play in Jharkhand on Tuesday and gang-raped them have been identified, a senior state police officer announced on Saturday.
Two of the six have been arrested and they have confessed to their crime before a magistrate, senior police officer RK Mallick said amid growing outrage over the chilling details of how the women were also tortured.
The six men had abducted an 11-member group including the five women, who were in the largely tribal district, Khunti, about 100 km from state capital Ranchi for an awareness campaign in a school, drove them into a dense forest about 30 minutes away and gang-raped the women between the ages of 20 and 35. Their torture continued even after the men were done. One inserted a branch of a tree into a woman, another his pistol and a third, pushed in chewing tobacco.
They screamed their lungs out, according to one woman who spoke about the horrifying gang-rape to a vernacular newspaper, Dainik Bhaskar.
But the six men did not stop. The gang-rape had continued for nearly four hours and they also forced the women to drink their urine also. “This was not a crime of passion,” Mr Mallick said about the men who had also filmed the assault on mobile phones. “It was a conspiracy to teach them a lesson”.
Police sources said that troupes like the one that was targeted are being used by some local officials to try to turn locals against Pathalgadi, an anti-establishment self-rule movement popular in several tribal villages.
The women work for Asha Kiran, an NGO which is supported by a local Christian missionary group, and were performing for students of RC Mission School.
When the women and the male members returned to the school after their release, Father Alfonso Alien, the priest who runs the school, allegedly told them not to file a complaint, put the rape behind them and move on.
According to a police complaint filed against the priest by Sanjay Sharma, described as team leader of the troupe, the priest had not reported their abduction and dissuaded them from reporting the rapes too.
Mr Mallick said the priest had also been arrested for multiple offences under the penal code including suppressing a crime.