The police on Tuesday detained eight juveniles who on Sunday night allegedly raped a Class 10 student on the outskirts of Ranchi. Search was on for the ninth accused, an adult.
Seven of the eight detainees said they were aged between 13 and 16, while the eight claimed he was 12, Ranchi senior superintendent of police Bhimsen Tuti said.
“The only adult involved in the crime, who is above 20, is absconding,” he said.
The victim’s friend, also a teenager, told the police that they were taking a stroll along the river near the Kamre village ashram when the nine accused armed with sickles reached there and took the girl forcibly to the other side of the river and raped her.
“One of them held me hostage for a couple of hours before they set both of us free in the night,” the boy said.
He said culprits also filmed the rape with a mobile phone camera, but the police have not recovered a phone with the recording.
The Ratu Police Station had filed a case of rape on Monday night after the girl---badly-injured and abandoned unconscious by the accused---regained her senses and narrated her ordeal to her parents and the police.
The police achieved a breakthrough when the girl’s friend identified three of the accused at a petrol pump in the afternoon. The trio then divulged the names of the other accused who were arrested after an intense search by six police teams.
Seven of the detained boys have confessed to the crime and the complicity of the eighth accused who had been spotted by the girl’s friend at the crime scene is being ascertained, Tuti said.
A senior police officer told HT the accused believed they would never be nabbed. In fact, three of them had been picnicking in Burmo village, while others were continuing with their routine works.
Crime against women, especially rape, has increased manifold in Jharkhand over the last decade.
Police, however, claim that awareness coupled with friendly policing has generated confidence among commoners who are coming out openly against the perpetrators and oppressors in big numbers.
In 2013, a whopping 812 rape cases were registered in the state.