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Mother of five gang-raped by 17 men in Indian state of Jharkhand

RANCHI, India: A mother of five children was allegedly gang-raped by 17 men who held her husband hostage in Dumka district of the Indian state of Jharkhand’s , around 300 kilometres northeast of the capital Ranchi.

The police registered an FIR against 17 people including a person known to the survivor. Based on the statement to the police, deputy inspector general (DIG) of Santhal region, Sudarshan Mandal and Dumka superintendent of police (SP) Ambar Lakra visited the village of the victim to investigate the matter.

The crime allegedly took place under Mufassil police station on Tuesday night when the woman was returning from a weekly village market with her husband.

“As per the statement of the woman, she was returning with her husband from a village market on Tuesday night when 17 people intercepted her and took her husband hostage before committing the crime,” the DIG said.

Mandal said the medical test of the woman, who would be around 35-year-old, had been conducted on Wednesday and they were waiting for the report.

“The woman said she could identify only one person. We have detained the accused for interrogation. If his involvement was found in the crime, he would be sent to jail,” Mandal said.

The DIG, who was speaking over the phone from the victim’s village, said, “We are interrogating the villagers regarding the crime. We are investigating the matter meticulously, as the woman is changing her statement. When I was interrogating her in her village, she said there were five persons involved in the crime.”

The husband of the woman said that she had gone to her mother’s house to help in paddy harvesting a month ago.

On an average five rape cases have been registered till July this year in the state, according to Jharkhand police website.

An analysis of the figures available in the website shows that as many as 1,033 cases of rape have been filed till July end this year, higher than the figure of 2019.

A total of 1,416 cases of rape have been registered in 2019, which means on an average four cases daily, as per the records of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

The number of cases remained around 1,000 annually from 2015 to 2018. As many as 1,090 cases were registered in 2018, 914 cases in 2017, 1,032 in 2016 and 1,053 in 2015, according to NCRB.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has blamed the JMM-led government for rising rape cases in the state.

Former social welfare minister and senior BJP leader Louis Marandi said, “Law and order situation has deteriorated in the state. The rape cases have become frequent in tribal districts. Tribals are not safe under this government.”