x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Eight arrested over gang rape of four schoolgirls in India

A group of men armed with knives barged into the hostel and kidnapped the four girls aged between 12 and 14, before assaulting them in a nearby forest in the tribal state of Jharkhand, police say.

PATNA, India // Police arrested eight suspects yesterday over the gang rape of four schoolgirls abducted from their convent boarding house in the country's east, officials said.

A group of men armed with knives barged into the hostel on Sunday night and kidnapped the girls aged between 12 and 14, before assaulting them in a nearby forest in the tribal state of Jharkhand, a police officer said.

"We have made arrests and we are interrogating eight persons accused in the case," said police superintendent YS Ramesh. "These girls are shocked and frightened after the incident."

India faces intense scrutiny over its efforts to curb violence against women following the gang rape and murder of a student on a bus in New Delhi last December, which caused major protests.

The school principal told police that the gang locked him and other teachers inside a room at the school run by a Christian missionary in the state's Pakur district.

The men then entered the dormitory and took away four girls, all belonging to a local tribal community, police said.

Mr Ramesh said medical tests on the girls confirmed that they had been raped.

Protests erupted in December after the fatal gang rape, which brought to the surface simmering anger about the treatment of women in India.