In a major breakthrough, the police have arrested all the accused in connection with a gang-rape case of a Hindu minor that happened in Jharkhand’s Sahibganj district. The third accused, Shahnawaz Sheikh, who served in the Army in Siliguri was subsequently handed over to the police. Following this, the police took him from Siliguri to Sahibganj on transit remand.
On May 25, Idgar Sheikh, Shahnawaz Sheikh and Ekramul Sheikh viciously raped a Hindu minor girl who had gone to a garden to pick mangoes. The incident had sparked off communal tensions in the region as the victim and the perpetrators belonged to different religions. It was reported that Shahnawaz works with the Indian Army, and all the accused had fled the scene after the crime on a Bullet motorcycle bearing Army markings.
Ekramul was the first to be arrested in the gang-rape case. Following Ekramul, Idgar was also nabbed by the police on 27 May. After Idgar’s arrest, Sahibganj SP Anuranjan, in a conversation with OpIndia, confirmed that the third accused- Shahnawaz is associated with the Army. He had said that he is part of the Army Medical Corps team and efforts are underway to arrest him.
The media reports had earlier reported that Shahnawaz had come home during Eid holidays and returned to his duty following the incident. Tempers ran high as angry people pulled one of the accused’s father out of his house before thrashing him. Because of the soaring tensions, personnel of Rapid Action Force were deployed in the region to prevent any untoward incident.
The victim had stated in her statement that at around 4:00 pm on May 25, she went to the garden behind her house to fetch mangoes. She was caught by Ekramul who threatened her to slit her throat. She was then taken to a nearby bush where two more individuals were lurking. The victim claimed in her testimony that the two individuals held her when Ekramul Sheikh raped her. The boys then took turns to gang-rape her and after that hastily fled from the scene on a motorcycle. The victim then reported the incident to her parents.