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Gang rape of 4 minor girls reported from SWKH

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NGOs demand police action against perpetrators

MAWKYRWAT, June 11: Four minor girls from the South West Khasi Hills (SWKH) district were kidnapped before they were allegedly sexually assaulted by a group of 12 men from a nearby village.
The matter was brought to light after a press release by the Khasi Hills Zone (KHZ) unit of the Garo Students’ Union and the SWKH unit of AHAM, who condemned the incident and demanded immediate action against those responsible for the heinous act.
Sources said the four victims, aged 13-14 years, were called to a nearby village by some ‘friends’ who later took them a nearby jungle and allegedly raped them. The incident happened at about 7 p.m. on Friday, after which the girls went missing.
After an extensive search by members of their families, the victims were found on Sunday. An FIR was subsequently registered.
While the details are awaited, the district police said the Mawkyrwat women’s police station personnel are investigating the case. The locals, however, are unhappy that no arrests have been made despite the passage of two days since the incident was reported.
“We strongly condemn the heinous and despicable act of gang rape of four minor girls that recently occurred under the jurisdiction of Nonghyllam Police Station in SWKH. This reprehensible act has no place in our society and it is with deep sorrow and outrage that we express our solidarity with the victims and their families during this immensely challenging time,” the two NGOs said in a statement.
Calling upon the police to arrest the culprits, the NGOs said the act has scarred the entire community.
“The culprits must be brought to justice without delay to ensure the safety, security, and dignity of all members of our community. It is imperative that the authorities handle this case with the utmost seriousness and efficiency. We urge the police to leave no stone unturned in their investigation and utilise all available resources to ensure justice is served. The swift apprehension and prosecution of the offenders are crucial to restoring faith in our legal system and to send a clear message that such acts of violence will not be tolerated,” the NGOs said.
They appealed to the community to support the victims and their families and foster an environment where they feel safe and supported.
“We must work together to break the silence surrounding sexual violence and to create a society that upholds the values of respect, dignity, and justice for all,” the NGOs said, threatening to approach the DGP if the district police fail to arrest the culprits.
Meanwhile, the SWKH Superintendent of Police, GD Kharwanlang tried to downplay the incident by saying the victims were part of a picnic party. “The medical report is awaited. No arrests have been made yet,” he said.

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