AISA and Caravan activists held a protest march in Bagodar against the brutal kidnapping and heinous gang rape in Khunti District neighbouring Ranchi of 5 women members of the organization Asha Kiran who were engaged in spreading social awareness against superstition through street plays. The march traversed through the entire Bagodar Bazaar and returned to the Bus Stand round-about where a meeting was organized. The participants of the march raised slogans demanding an unbiased enquiry into the incident and arrest and punishment for the guilty. Instead of identifying the rapists and arresting them, the police here declared leaders of the Pathalgarhi movement guilty even before an investigation. The police also arrested a Christian priest from the Asha Kiran organization on the grounds that he delayed in reporting the rape: but given the poor connectivity in the remote areas, the priest may not have been able to report the rapes immediately after he got to know about them. The police are using the rapes as a pretext to unleash repression against the Adivasi community and the Pathalgarhi movement. Therefore, a strong demand has also risen for a CBI enquiry into the incident.
The march was led by District Council members Poonam Mahto, Sarita Mahto, Sarita Sao, Puran Kumar Mahto and Hemlal Mahto. Activists addressing the march said that the Raghuvar government has wholly failed to ensure the safety of women. The astonishing fact is that the government, instead of arresting and taking action against the culprits, is playing politics in the matter. The march was attended by a large number of activists, students and youth.