Jharkhand gangrape: The police have identified four other persons in the case and will soon make the arrests.
Khunti police on Friday night arrested a missionary school head and two other persons in the alleged kidnap and gangrape of women in Kochang village, about 80 km from state capital Ranchi, PTI reported. According to Additional Director General of Police R K Malik, Father Alfonso Alien, head of the missionary school from where the women activists were kidnapped, and two others spotted during an identification parade, were arrested last night.
Father Alfonso, booked for aiding and abetting the crime, was let off on personal bond following preliminary interrogation. The statements of the other two accused were recorded before the judicial magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC. The two men, identified as Ajub Sandi Purti and Ashish Longo, were sent to judicial custody, the ADG said. The police have identified four other persons in the case and will soon make the arrests, he assured.
Two FIRs were registered in the case, of which one was filed against unidentified persons at a women police station in Khunti district, while the other was against Father Alfonso in Arki police station on Thursday, Superintendent of Police Aswini Kumar Sinha had said.
The ADG further said the police suspects involvement of Patthalgadi supporters and said that the incident was a result of “conspiracy and vengeance” hatched by them along with the naxal outfit of the Peoples Liberation Front of India (PLFI).
Patthalgadi, a traditional practice among tribals in which they put up stone slabs with names of their ancestors, has of late taken the form of a protest, with patthalgadi supporters urging people not to allow government officials and police to enter their areas.
According to the ADG, the accused came to the missionary school and abducted the victims. The women were taken to a nearby forest, where John Johanas Tidu, top leader of Pathalgarhi incidents in Khunti district, was waiting with several PLFI people to teach the activists a lesson.
Father Alfonso purportedly asked the women activists, who had gone to the village to stage a street play against human trafficking, to accompany the criminals saying that they would be let off after some time. The school head, however, asked the accused to only let go off two nuns working with him, the officer said.
ADG Malik also said that Father Alfonso should have reported the matter to the police, instead, he tried to hush the matter. The police officer assured appropriate action as soon as more concrete and corroborative evidences are found on being asked why the school head was released on personal bond when he had been found to have abetted the crime.
A reward of Rs 50,000 has also been announced for any person giving information leading to the arrest of the suspects. The police said that nearly half-a-dozen persons were involved in the crime, which the police say was filmed by the accused.