Three Dalit girls from Jharkhand’s Chatra district have levelled rape charges against a group of boys from the same region, and accused community elders of shielding the accused when the matter was brought to their notice.
The girls said they were walking down the Chatra-Itkhori road on Friday evening when three boys accosted them near Trog More, 10 km from Chatra town. When the victims rejected their advances, the boys allegedly dragged them behind the bushes and took turns to rape them.
Community elders were informed about the incident, but they allegedly tried to cover up the crime. Instead of taking action against the boys, they held several rounds of negotiations between the two parties through weekend. Exasperated, the three girls approached the Chatra Sadar police on Monday.
Acting swiftly on their complaint, police nabbed the three boys – also Dalits – within a matter of hours.
The girls said their families were advised against approaching the police. “The community elders wanted us to resolve the issue without punishing the guilty,” they stated in the complaint.
While the victims belonged to Amukatu village, the boys hailed from nearby Trog.
“We took prompt action after the girls complained to us on Monday. We are also looking into their allegations of community elders trying to cover up the crime. That is a serious offence too,” said Chatra Sadar police station officer-in-charge Ram Awadh Singh.
“The boys have confessed to the crime,” he added.