NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Women on Thursday said that gang rape of five NGO activist at gunpoint in Jharkhand's Khunti was pre-planned and questioned the role of the Catholic priest, Principal of the school which was supporting the NGO.
"It is apparent that the incident was pre-planned and had been executed in a professional manner," the Commission said in a statement. The Commission also hailed the district administration and police for efficient and quick follow-up action in the BJP-ruled stated. The NCW after taking suo motu cognizance of the incident, had set up a three-member fact-finding team which compiled the report after meeting the district collector, the superintendent of police, the chairperson and a member of the Jharkhand state commission for women and some other officials. The NCW team along with representatives of the state Commission met all the five victims separately and also interacted with the two nuns who had accompanied the survivors to the Kochang area.
"Based on the interactions, the role of Father Alfonso Aiend in the incident has been questioned by the team. It also casts serious doubts about the conduct of Father Aiend, who not only asked to spare only two women (sisters) but also failed to inform the authorities about the abduction of the Nukad Natak team members," the statement said.
According to the report, Father Aiend also persuaded the victims to not disclose the facts to anyone, therefore acting in contrary to the legal requirements and possibly connived with the accused in committing the crime. During the interaction between the team and the victims, the NCW noticed that the victims were traumatised and would need proper rehabilitation and support.
According to the report, the police authorities said that due to the Pathalgarhi movement, there were difficulties in reaching the area to locate the accused. "The administration has provided quick welfare assistance to the victims and all victims are safely housed by the District Administration and their identities had not been disclosed," it added.