On June 19, 2018 five female Christian activists in India were captured and raped. The women were kidnapped at gunpoint and taken to a secluded area where they were viciously raped for three hours. Immediately before the assault began, the activists had finished performing a street play with a goal of highlighting the growing human trafficking crisis in the country.
At the time of the incident, the females were working with the non-governmental group Asha Kiran. The presentation they had given was in Kochang village, Jharkhand. A local Christian missionary center supports Asha Kiran. While the activists carried out their community work, they resided at this center. The non-governmental organization runs a shelter located in Khunti that houses young women and girls who abandon their homes in an effort to find employment. Many of these women and girls become either domestic workers or victims of sex trafficking. The shelter in Khunti offers these troubled individuals a formal education, vocational development, and professional counseling.
NDTV reported the women were “violated with the branch of a tree, a pistol and tobacco.” They were also reportedly made to consume their own urine. RK Mallick, a senior police officer, remarked, “This was not a crime of passion.” All six of the accused perpetrators involved in the crime have been identified. Mallick revealed that two of the six have been arrested at this time.
The women have allegedly been taken into protective custody and have been treated at a medical facility. The Deputy Inspector General of Police in Ranchi, the state capital of Jarkhand, Homkar Amol Venukant, informed CBS News, “We have taken the statement of the victims.” Reportedly, the activists notified the officers that the accused perpetrators “filmed the act on their mobile phones.” The victims also told officers that their attackers threatened to upload the videos on the internet if they reported the crime.
Two nuns and four men allegedly accompanied the activists to the location of the street play before returning to the missionary center where the attackers were waiting for them. The accused men were allegedly infuriated because the activists entered the village before obtaining their permission to do so. The perpetrators were thought to belong to the Pathalgadi organization. The group, which espouses “self-rule” and what they call an anti-establishment worldview, has taken root in many of India’s southern states. In regions where this kind of governance exists, locals often explicitly defy law enforcement. Mob rule is not uncommon.
NDTV further revealed that the leader of the school where the victims were staying pleaded with them to ask the alleged attackers to go with them to report the crime to the authorities. A Jharkhand Police officer also asserted that the priest later implored the activists to avoid telling the authorities about the heinous act. However, some people have claimed the police famed the priest, Father Alonso. The authorities have fervently refuted this accusation.
Mallick stated, “The police never takes action on the basis of religion or caste. They do it within the framework of the law and the police have done the same in the case of the gang rape.”
He went on to add, “When the criminals came, Father Alfonso asked them to leave out the nuns and told the five women to go with the culprits for two hours. After four hours, when the women were taken back to the missionary, Father Alfonso had advised them not to report the matter to the police.”
According to the BBC, an astounding 40,000 rape cases were reported in India in 2016 alone. The National Crime Records Bureau noted that 100 sexual assaults are reported to the authorities in the country each day. A poll conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation showed that the nation, with a majority Hindu population, is the worst place in the world for women. In May of 2018, three teen girls were raped and set on fire in Jharkhand in separate incidents. Pray for all of those under attack in India and other dangerous hot-spots all over the world.
~ 1776 Christian