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Five female workers of a missionary group sexually assaulted in India’s state Jharkhand

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Armed men sexually assaulted five female workers of a missionary group in Indian state of Jharkhand. The men also filmed the crime, as they committed the heinous crime on gun point. Police is conducting investigations as the rapists are due to be apprehended.

Christians in Jharkhand

The incident unfolded in the Khunti District of Jharkhand state. The women worked for a non-governmental organization Asha Kiran which is being supported by a local Christian missionary group. On the day of the incident unfolded, the women performed in a play aimed to raise awareness about human trafficking. After performing, they headed towards a local mission school, that was the time when the men attacked them.

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A police officer told BBC Hind that “Around the same time, some armed people reached the school. They abducted five girls from their team and took them to a jungle and raped them. We have dedicated three teams of police to interrogate several people”.

In this regard, the police are questioning suspects including adherents of the anti-establishment Pathalgadi movement. It is suspected that the assaulters could belong to a group hostile to foreigners. Jharkhand Anti-Trafficking Network’s Rajiv Ranjan Sinha said: “We are still processing what has happened. This is the first time field workers have been targeted and it is both surprising and shocking. It is now going to become more difficult to work on this issue”.

“Conditions for religious minorities have deteriorated over the last decade due to a multifaceted campaign by Hindu-nationalist groups like Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sang (RSS), Sangh Parivar, and Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) to alienate non-Hindus or lower-caste Hindus. The victims of this campaign include Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains, as well as Dalit Hindus, who belong to the lowest rung in the Hindu caste system”, United States Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) stated in its annual report on India.