14-yr-old Tribal Girl ‘Raped, Hanged from Tree’; Construction Worker Arrested

A 14-year-old tribal girl, who was allegedly sexually exploited by a man who promised to marry her, was found hanging from a tree in Jharkhand’s Dumka district, police said on Saturday. The minor’s mother alleged that her daughter was raped, killed and hanged from the tree.

The incident took place in an area under Mufassil police station on Friday. Police identified the accused as Arman Ansari, who was arrested. Ansari works as a construction worker, superintendent of police Ambar Lakra told PTI. He was booked under IPC sections 376 (rape), 302 (murder) and provisions of the SC/ST and POCSO Acts, Lakra said.

Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren expressed his anguish over the incident. “I am deeply saddened by the incident in Dumka. The accused has been arrested. I have directed police to take strict legal steps to ensure justice (to the victim’s family). May God give peace to the departed soul and strength to the bereaved family to bear this critical time,” Soren tweeted.

Senior BJP leader Babulal Marandi in a Twitter post claimed that the girl was hanged after being raped by the accused. The former chief minister tweeted: “Who are you saving? Have shame! Whatever you and your police hide, we will get her justice.”

Attacking Soren, BJP national vice-president and another former CM Raghubar Das in a Twitter post said, “Pay attention in Jharkhand when you get time from resort politics.”

Amid confusion over continuation of Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren as an MLA, 32 legislators of the ruling UPA coalition were on August 30 taken to a resort in Raipur, the capital of Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh.

JMM spokesperson Supriya Bhattacharya said the party will give its reaction to the tribal girl’s death on Sunday. The incident followed one on August 23, when a man allegedly poured petrol on a 16-year-old girl from outside the window of her room when she was sleeping and set her on fire. The teenager, who had reportedly spurned his advances, succumbed to her injuries on August 28.

In another incident on August 28, a 15-year-old tribal girl was allegedly raped by a 26-year-old man after barging into her house in Ranchi. The accused in both cases were arrested.

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