(Alok K N Mishra, TNN )
RANCHI: Four minor girls belonging to the primitive Pahariya tribe were gang-raped outside a residential school at Lawada village in Pakur district, 350 km from the state capital, late on Sunday night. The girls, in the age-group of 12 to 15, are in a critical condition at a hospital. Police have launched a manhunt to nab the accused.
The police said around 25 boys, armed with knives and other traditional weapons, barged inside the campus of the residential school and took the guards hostage. They picked four girls and dragged them outside the campus. The boys, most of them in a drunken condition, took them to a nearby deserted place where they took turns to rape for two hours before fleeing. The school staff tried to raise an alarm but their cell phones were snatched by the boys. The staff informed the police about the incident later in the night.
Officers from the Littipara police station, 9km from the school, arrived at the spot several hours later to take stock of the situation. Officer-in-charge Teslal Ram said: “The girls belong to the Pahariya tribe and they were staying at the hostel to learn tailoring. Some of the boys who participated in the crime were also staying at the same place.” He added that all the girls have been admitted in the hospital.
Police officers from Littipara and Hiranpur police stations have recorded the statements of over 10 people in this connection. They have also sought the help of locals of Lawada village to find out more about the incident. A team of forensic experts on Monday visited the place where the incident occurred
Pakur SP Y S Ramesh said that the police have identified all the accused. “Joint raids are being conducted to nab the criminals. We would soon arrest the culprits,” said Ramesh. The accused were in their 20s, said sources. An FIR has been lodged against 25 unknown persons.