15 arrested in Jharkhand’s Chatra after 16-year-old girl raped, burnt alive
Police on Saturday arrested 15 of the 18 people charged in connection with the alleged gang rape and burning alive of a 16-year-old girl at Raja Kendua village in Chatra district of Jharkhand on Friday.
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Act has been invoked against the accused as the victim was a minor. “Gang rape charges have been invoked against the accused, but we will wait for the post-mortem report before arriving at any conclusion,” said Bokaro range inspector general of police Shambhu Thakur.
The district administration has constituted a medical board for conducting an autopsy of the half-burnt body, he added.
The local panchayat had imposed a penalty of ₹50,000 on the accused for allegedly raping the girl on Friday afternoon. Enraged by the order, the main accused — Dhanu Bhuiyan — and his henchmen allegedly immolated the victim and brutally assaulted her family. Village mukhiya Tileshwari Devi and panchayat samiti member Ranjay Rajak are among those arrested, said Thakur.
The two were booked on charges of passing unlawful orders and tampering with evidence. However, Dhanu Bhuiyan is still on the run. “Raids are being conducted to nab him and others at the earliest. We are also probing the role of other locals in the incident,” the inspector general said.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made at Raja Kendua village, under the Itkhori police station, to prevent any untoward incident. Senior civil and police officers visited the village to meet the bereaved family members on Saturday, hours after the chief minister ordered stringent action against the offenders.
“A manhunt is on to nab four others, who are absconding,” said Thakur, adding that the victim’s family has been accorded protection.
Minor gang-raped in Odisha, six held
Bhubaneswar Police in western Odisha’s Sambalpur district on Saturday arrested five persons and apprehended a minor on charges of raping a 13-year-old girl. Sambalpur superintendent of police Sanjiv Arora said the accused sexually assaulted the girl on Friday. “We managed to catch all of them today,” he added. This is the fifteenth case of rape of a minor reported in the state in about a month. During this period, at least six cases of molestation of minors too were reported.
In a separate case, police arrested a man on charges of raping an aanganwadi worker in Keonjhar district.