The medical examination of six Mahadalit women, who were allegedly raped by three men at Kurmuri village in Bhojpur district of south central Bihar on Wednesday, has confirmed that they were sexually assaulted.
Bhojpur civil surgeon SK Aman, who led a team of doctors that conducted the medical examination at the Ara Sadar Hospital on Friday, said they had found signs indicating the women were raped.
Bhojpur superintendent of police Rajesh Kumar also confirmed the finding of the medical team.
"The medical examination has indeed shown that rape had been committed on the six women," Kumar told HT on Saturday.
He said the investigation into the case was almost complete.
"The charge sheet will be submitted in court by Saturday evening or latest by Sunday, pending speedy trial of the accused."
Ara women's police station SHO Poonam Kumari is the investigation officer of this case.
At the time of filing of this report, the victims were being produced before judicial magistrate Pratibha for recording their statement under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
All three accused - Nilnidhi Singh, his brother Jayaprakash Singh and Jaggu Pandit - are in police custody.
Nilnidhi is a scrap dealer and a former area commander of Ranveer Sena, a now defunct private militia of landlords that was active in central Bihar in the 1980s and 1990s.
All the three men were produced before the medical team at the Ara Sadar Hospital for their physical examination again on Saturday.
All the six victims, including three minors, are from Dumaria village under Tarari police station of Bhojpur, about 90 km west of state capital, Patna.
The women were allegedly held at gun point and raped by the three accused when they, all rag pickers, went to Kurmuri on Wednesday to sell the scrap items they had collected during the day.
On Saturday, a four-member team of the Bihar State Women Commission (BSWC) reached Ara to inquire into the case.
BSWC chairperson Anjum Ara said her team would speak to the victims after their statement has been recorded in the presence of a judicial magistrate.
"After completing our inquiry, we will submit a report to the government," she said.
Ara said the commission would recommend to the government that special facilities be created for the benefit of women who travel long distances to earn their livelihood.
A team of Rashtriya Janata Dal leaders, headed by former union minister Kanti Singh, visited Dumaria to apprise itself of the facts of this case.
Acting upon Manjhi's order for expeditious action against the culprits and relief for the victims, Bhojpur DM Pankaj Kumar Pal announced a host of benefits for Dumaria village, especially for its Mahadalit area inhabitants.
The incident had stunned Bihar more so because this is the first time six women have been gang-raped and all of them belong to the Mahadalit community, a category of poorest among the Dalits created for providing special benefits to them.
A section of the opposition also pointed out that the atrocity has been committed under the rule of chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, who is himself a Mahadalit.