Jharkhand police have set up a special investigation team (SIT), comprising forensic, intelligence and police sleuths, to probe the gang-rape of a woman constable by a band of dacoits on National Highway 75 near Jagaldaga, Latehar district on Wednesday night.
Besides robbing drivers and passengers of half a dozen vehicles, three from the gang of highway robbers had raped the constable travelling in a private car with her father and sisters.
The incident, alongwith the gang-rape of a photo-journalist in Mumbai, once again exposed the lack of security for women in the country and renewed calls for swift and exemplary punishments to perpetrators of such crimes.
Though Jharkhand police have so far questioned many suspects, they have failed to many any progress in the case.
Director general of police (DGP) Rajeev Kumar along with other senior police officers on Sunday visited the place of the dacoity and rape near Jagaldaga, 9 km form here along with the victim. The DGP spent nearly 40 minutes at the spot.
Later, the DGP met the victim and her family-members including her father, sisters and brothers at Latehar circuit house. He also reviewed the progress made so far in the investigation of this shameful act.
The ADG (law and order) SN Pradhan, ADG (CID) KL Meena, zonal IG MS Bhatia, Range DIG RK Dhan, CID SP Akhilesh Jha and Latehar SP Michael S Raj were also present.
The victim, a widow of a slain District Armed Police jawan who had lost his life in a Maoist attack on the convoy of the Chatra MP Inder Singh Namdhari in Garu in 2011, had only recently completed police training after being appointed as constable on compensatory grounds.
Talking to media, DGP Rajeev Kumar said, “The case is being deeply investigated. We are collecting evidences to arrive at some concrete finding. All investigating agencies are working together to solve the case. We hope to get the results very soon.”
He also termed the incident as “rather unusual” and added that the “robbers did not have any firearms, only traditional sharp-edged weapons like axes”.
Asked about possible security threat to the victim, the DGP said that “we will ensure safety of the victims and her family. If she gives something in writing, we will consider it and she may be posted elsewhere.”
He, however, ruled out any link between the gang-rape and the gunning down of the victim’s sister and brother-in-law in Ranchi on August 20.
Incidentally, the victim was bringing back the body of her sister to their ancestral village in Garhwa from Ranchi when the gang-rape took place.
The constable’s brother-in-law Dilwar Lagun was, incidently, a suspected member of the militant Jharkhand Liberation Tigers (JLT), a splinter group of the CPI-Maoists, and wanted by police in several cases.
He and his wife Sobha were shot dead by a group of two-three unidentified assailants at his rented house at around 11.30 pm. The couple had a three-year-old child. Police suspect his killing to be the result of gang rivalry but no arrests have been made so far.