Woman preacher gang-raped at ashram in Jharkhand's Godda district; one arrested
The rape survivor had come to the ashram in February to attend a religious function, but got stuck there due to the lockdown, police said
Godda: A woman preacher was allegedly gang-raped at an ashram in Jharkhand's Godda district on Tuesday, police said.
A group of men scaled the wall of the ashram around 2.30 am, entered it and held the ascetics and preachers at gunpoint, they said.
At that time there were four women preachers and a sadhu present in the ashram, located in Ranidih in Muffasil police station area, they added.
They locked the others in a room and took turns in raping the young preacher who was staying in the ashram since February, said Superintendent of Police YS Ramesh.
She came to the ashram in February to attend a religious function but got stuck there due to the lockdown, he said.
The other sadhus informed some locals over the phone while being held inside the room but by the time they could arrive, the accused fled from the spot, police said.
"Among the accused was a man from the Pathwara area whom we knew. We urged him to let go of us but they didn't care," said an inmate of the ashram.
The woman has been sent for medical examination and a team has been formed to investigate the matter, the officer said.
Later, Chief Minister Hemant Soren intervened in the matter and asked the police to arrest those behind the incident, take strict action and inform him of the steps initiated.
Following this, police said they have provided security to the woman and arrested main accused Deepak Rana.
Rana has a criminal background, they said.
"The woman, who is in her early 30s, is in a state of trauma but we have assured her that we will soon arrest all those behind the incident," the officer said.
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A case was registered at Sadar Kotwali police station on 12 October against 25 people — including the survivor's father and her uncle — and three unknown persons
The complainant in her FIR stated that the assault took place inside her room at the Air Force Administrative College in Coimbatore's Redfields