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No arrests yet in SWGH gang-rape, assault case


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State police working closely with Assam counterparts

Our Bureau

TURA/SHILLONG, April 22: South West Garo Hills Police on Monday said that while there have been no arrests made in the sensational physical and sexual assault cases of two minor girls near the Chenga Benga Mela venue, they are close to identifying a few of those that may have been involved.
On April 17 at around 9:30 pm, a gang of at least close to 10 persons, allegedly hailing from nearby Assam, sexually assaulted two minor girls as well as physically assaulted their male friends before fleeing from the spot.
The disoriented minors, despite the physical and mental trauma suffered during the incident, bravely made their way back home before at least three FIRs were filed by the victims at the Ampati police station on April 18.
While one of the girls was beaten unconscious and didn’t know how many sexually assaulted her, the other minor, who remained conscious during the assault, revealed that there were multiple perpetrators.
Some social media posts even alleged the involvement of over 20 persons in gang-rape that perpetrated the crime against the two minors and their minor friends.
Following the FIR, SWGH district police began their investigation.
“We have identified our line of investigation and are coordinating with Assam police to round up the suspects. Many people have been questioned and we are hopeful of a breakthrough soon,” informed Superintendent of Police, Vikas Yadav.

Outrage over gang-rape, assault

The Meghalaya BJP Mahila Morcha has urged the Chief Justice of the High Court of Meghalaya to initiate suo-motu cognisance of the rape and assault of two minor girls in South West Garo Hills (SWGH) on April 17 to arrest the culprits at the earliest.
“Two tribal minor girls were gang-raped in South West Garo Hills on April 17. We humbly urge your honour to take suo-motu action against the culprits and ask for a report from our police department,” Susuki Pariat, the state president of the BJP Mahila Morcha said in a letter addressed to the Chief Justice on Monday.
“Your Honour, we have full faith in you and the judiciary and we are confident that with your intervention, this case will be solved at the earliest,” she said.
State BJP vice president and Tura MDC, Bernard N Marak condemned the assault and rape of the two minor girls by suspected miscreants from across the Assam border and urged the authorities of the two states to take steps to arrest the culprits.
Marak also sought assistance for the victims.
The Civil Society Women’s Organisation (CSWO) also condemned the gang rape of the two minor girls in SWGH and demanded a speedy investigation and stringent action against the perpetrators of the crime.
“This is a heinous crime and people are feeling unsafe. We demand speedy investigation and stringent action against those behind such an act,” CSWO president, Agnes Kharshiing said.
Stating that cases of crime against women are on the rise, she said stringent action and a stronger law will ensure more safety for the women.
She said that in the absence of stricter laws, the culprits are indulging in such acts thinking they can get away with it.
“It is a great cause of concern as to how culprits can just pick their victims and commit crimes so easily,” she added, demanding swift action from the police.


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