At least five women, all members of Asha Kiran a non-government organization supported by Christian missionaries, were abducted and gang-raped at gunpoint in India's eastern states of Jharkhand.
Ashwini Kumar Sinha, superintendent of police in Khunti, confirmed on Friday that “an FIR (First Information Report) and a statement in court has been lodged. We are trying to identify the criminals. Our probe is ongoing."
He went on to say that "a team of street performing artists had gone to perform in a school in Kochan, the remotest area of Khunti when some men came and threatened them. Nine men and women were abducted. Five women were raped while the men were beaten," according to Al Jazeera.
The female charity workers reported that they were performing a play dealing with human trafficking in the Khunti district of Jharkhand when the gunmen abducted them. They also said that the sexual assault was filmed to be used as leverage by their captors to prevent them from reporting it to authorities.
Police officer Rajesh Prasad told AFP that investigators are “questioning several people” and that they are still awaiting results from the women's medical exams.
Asha Kiran's project director in Ranchi, Sister Julia George, said the men forced the five women “into the same vehicle by which the Asha Kiran group were traveling and drove some kilometers away from the place. Then they were raped.”
The National Women's Commission, for its part, demanded security officials to provide them with an official report of the sexual assault, according to Al Jazeera.