Patna: Authorities in Bihar have ordered an inquiry by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) a day after the incident of the alleged gang-rape of three nuns at gun-point in a Hindu ashram (religious retreat) came to light, rocking the state.
“Stern action will be initiated against the accused persons. I have ordered a SIT probe into the entire incident. This is a very serious incident,” the local deputy inspector general of police, Magadh Range, Vinay Kumar told the media on Saturday. The rapes occurred at Nawada district, which falls under the Magadh Range.
Reports said the Nawada district superintendent of police Vikas Barman has been told to lead the SIT probe and submit a report soon. The incident took place at Sant Kutir Ashram last month but the case was registered with the local police only last week, on January 4, as the victims had fled the scene out of fear following murder threats by the accused, who incidentally were volunteers at the ashram.
According to the victims, they were cooking food in their room when the accused knocked at the door. Once they opened the door, the men gang-raped the three nuns at gun-point, the victims have alleged. The nuns have told the police that they were tied and locked in a room before being taken to different rooms in the ashram.
According to the victims, of the 10 people involved in the incident, five were volunteers who had been frequenting the ashram at regular intervals. “We know five persons involved in the incident while we can identify the rest after seeing their faces,” the victims have told the police. The victims have been staying at the ashram for the past decade and have travelled to various places to give religious discourses.
The women also told the police that this is the second case of sexual assault related to the ashram. Earlier two girls were raped at another branch of the ashram located at Pithauri village in the same district, they alleged, adding one of the victims is still missing.