The District Court & Additional Sessions Judge of Khunti, Jharkhand sentenced Father Alphonse Aind to life imprisonment for hatching a conspiracy that led to rape of five young girls of an NGO fighting ‘Human Trafficking’ in the state. He failed to inform the police of the abduction of the five girls and also persuaded them with possible threats of grave consequences to them and their families if they reported the matter to the police.
IndianExpose narrates the horrifying truth of the role of a Catholic Priest in leading five innocent girls to their most traumatic experience of rape, torture and humiliation in a three part series.
Here is the link of the first part of the expose:
In the second part of our investigation series we narrate the relation of Fr Alphonse Aind with the sentenced rapists and Pathalgari (Naxal) members who raped the five young women from the NGO who were performing a Nukkar-Natak on ‘Human Trafficking’.
Here are the views of the judges post submission of all evidences and witnesses testimonies on the conspiracy of Fr Alphonse Aind in luring the victims to their rape, torture and humiliation:
In order to establish the offence of conspiracy u/s 120B IPC, specially with regard to accused Fr. Alphonse his conduct is worth to be considered.
It is specifically stated by all the victims like that at school when Nukkar-Natak was going on, 4-5 accused persons came there on two motorcycles, out of them one miscreant keeping a pistol in his waist, went before the Fr. Alphonse and told him something and thereafter accused persons had stopped the Nukkar play and had ceased their mobile phones as well keys of their vehicles and called ‘Who is pan-sakam’?
It is also categorically stated by all the above victims that when the miscreants have compelled them to go and sit in their vehicle, then the victims had protested that they will not go anywhere without the sisters as the sisters brought them here, and when one sister Ranjeeta was also being taken away by the accused persons, then Fr. Alphonse Aind had intercepted and told the accused persons that “she is sister, so let her spare”
The victims have categorically stated in their depositions that when they requested to Fr. Alphonse to also save them, Fr. Alphonse had told them that “you go and sit in vehicle, they will bring you all back within two hours and nothing will happen with you”
This fact was also corroborated by confessional statements of co-accused in the case
The conduct of this accused Fr. Alphonse is also relevant to be considered as even occurrence of abduction of five female and four male persons from his school in his presence by the miscreants on point of gun, he had neither informed the matter to any local authority nor he had informed the matter to police and had not taken any step in order to save the victims.
On this point deposition the Court maintained that one of the Prime Witness stated in para 103 of his cross-examination on behalf of accused Fr. Alphonse, that “when he asked to Fr. Alphonse that in your presence criminals came, they had spared both sisters on your request and abducted others and thereafter they had committed rape with victims ladies and assaulted to three male persons and meanwhile you have your mobile phone with yourself, even though why you have not informed the matter to police or even to seniors of your organization, then Fr. had not given any answer to such question.” This conduct of Fr Alphonse Aind is worth noticeable.
It is also worth noticeable that even the co-accused persons in their confessional statement have categorically admitted the conduct of Fr. Alphonse, as co-accused Ajub Sandi Purti in his confessional statement vide Ex-8/1 had stated that when the victims were placed in vehicle then Father told that “leave the sister, then they had left the sister”. He further stated that however for other victims Father had not stated anything even when they had requested to save them. He further admitted that Father had told the other victims that “you go and sit in vehicle, they will bring you all back within two hours and nothing will happen with you”
Similarly another accused Baji Samad @ Takala in his confessional statement vide Ex-8/2 had categorically admitted that when they had taken away the victims, one sister was ready to go with them, but Father had told them(miscreants) that “These are sisters so let them leave, however you take away the rest”. This accused has also stated in his confessional statement that at the time of return from the school at evening, he met with Father, who was coming at school after purchasing vegetables, then they told him that “victims were left after proper lesson, as you told”
Again from confessional statement of accused Ashish Lomga vide Ext-8 this fact was revealed by him that when they were taking away the victims then Father had instructed them to leave the sister. He had further admitted that when the play team members had requested the Father to save them, then Father told them that “To go with the miscreants, they will leave them later on and thereafter he smiled).
The conduct of accused Fr. Alphonse is also worth to be considered during the occurrence and even after the occurrence. It is specific case of prosecution that the victims were abducted for 3 to 4 hours from Church school in presence of Fr. Alphonse, on the point of gun, but he had not informed the matter either to the police or to any local authority or to his senior members of church, whereas he lives a normal life as if nothing has happened as he went to market and purchased vegetables.
Being the head of the institution, it was his duty u/s 39 of Cr.P.C to forthwith give information of the said occurrence of abduction to the nearest Magistrate or police officer without any excuse. However there is no case or defence as such brought on record that after abduction of victims from the school of Fr. Alphonse(church school) there was any fear persistent over Fr. Alphonse, which prevents him to inform the matter to anyone.
As per section 39 Cr.P.C here this accused has to give a ‘reasonable excuse’ due to which he had informed the matter to the competent authority including anyone. Pw15 in para 103 of her cross- examination had categorically stated that even on enquiry to the fact of such ‘reasonable excuse’ of not informing the matter, this accused has kept mum. This fact categorically gives to draw an adverse inference against this very accused u/s 114 Indian Evidence Act as it is he only who can explain the reason of not informing the matter to the police, so this very conduct of accused Fr. Alphonse is also worth to be considered upon.
So far as the conduct of Fr. Alphonse after the occurrence is concerned, it is specific evidence brought on record by the prosecution that when the victims were brought back to church school at evening, after occurrence. The accused persons were met with sister Ranjeeta and taken her back to the school, talked something with her and then they had handed over the mobile phones of victims, which they had taken from them, and had also met with Fr. Alphonse(as per Ext-8/2).
After that Father and sisters had convinced the victims to not reveal the matter of occurrence to anyone, as because the accused persons are very dangerous and they may kill their family members. It is also relevant to note that victims were also followed by one another unknown person from Asha- kiran, who met with the victims near the office of D.C, Khunti, in the night, when the victims were under consideration to inform the matter to Deputy Commissioner.
That fellow along with sisters of Asha-Kiran institute had intervened and convinced, the victim to not report the matter and they further directed the victims to come to Asha Kiran on the next day and there they will decide their plan of action regarding the occurrence. It is also relevant to appreciate that when the victims had gone to Asha kiran on very next day i.e. on 20.06.18, then that person of Asha kiran, who met with victims at night, was also present and in presence of sisters he had taken mobile phones of informant(victim no.5) and of Santosh Hembrom(Pw-9), through accused had taken photographs and video of obscene activities, and thereafter he had downloaded entire photos and videos in laptop and thereafter he had deleted the same from the mobile phones and thereafter the victims again convinced by them to not report the matter to police as the accused persons may kill their family. This conduct of sisters and that very person of Asha kiran categorically shows that the members of Asha-kiran institute, who arealso associated with church school have tried their level best to save the accused persons including Fr. Alphonse Aind.
So far as the knowledge of this accused Fr. Alphonse regarding the occurrence is concerned, it is categorically revealed from confessional statement of co-accused Baji Samad @ Takala that at the school they met with Father, who knows them since back as they usually go to that school and talked with him also. He categorically stated in his confessional statement vide Ex-8/2 that “We met with Father and told him that these persons(victims) are spy of police and they came here in order to ensure arrest of Pathalgarhi leaders, so John Junas Tiru had told them to teach lesson to these fellow, for that they came and they(victims) have to be taken away by them.”
This fact was also corroborated by the deposition of female victims, who had categorically identified accused Baji Samad as a person, who met with Father separately in the school.
Again conduct of Father reveals his knowledge regarding the occurrence as when the miscreants, at school, had tried to take away sister Ranjeeta and when on request of other victims, that sister was also agreed to go with the victims, then Fr. Alphonse had intercepted and had stopped sister Ranjeeta to go with other victims and had also particularly told the miscreants to not take her(Sister Ranjeeta) with them, as she is a sister. This very conduct of Fr. Alphonse categorically reveals the fact he was well aware that the ladies victims have to suffer from outrage of their modesties and this was the reason why he did not allow sister Ranjeeta to go with them.
Plan to rape hatched on June 18th
The statement of accused Ajub Sandi Purti vide Ex-8/1, in which he(Ajub Sandi Purti) has stated that on 18.06.18 he alongwith Ashish Lomga was taking bath in river at village Latauli. Then one bodyguards of Noyel Purti(area commander of PLFI and also one of the co-accused, who is still absconder) came there and on the point of gun had taken away both he(Ajub Sandi Purti) and accused Ashish Lomga were kept in the forest of Kochang in the night of 18.06.18 and on 19.06.18 at morning they were given food/breakfast and thereafter both of them were brought to “Kochang Bazar Tand” where they along with other accused Baji Samad @ Takala, Junas Mundu had watched Nukkar- play.
Meanwhile John Junas Tiru and Balram Samad came there and told them to commit such crime by abducting outraging modesty of members of Nukkar team under pretext of being them spy of police and they were supposed to ensure arrest of Pathalgarhi leaders.
This accused had further confessed the fact that when they came back to Church school, after the occurrence, and left the victims there, then the other accused persons had also make him free.
The same fact has been corroborated by confessional statement of accused Ashish Lomga vide Ex-8, in which he had also stated the same facts. Here from appreciation of confessional statements of both the accused persons vide Ex-8, & Ex-8/1, it is clear that the plan for commission of such offence has already been prepared on 18.06.18 only, as to commit such crime, these two accused persons namely Ajub Sandi Purti and Ashish Lomga were forcibly brought to Kochang forest on 18.06.18 itself.
Again it also worth to appreciate that soon after completion of such project of crime with the victims of this case and after putting them back at Kochang school, these two accused persons were also set at free.
This shows that these two accused persons were brought only to execute such offence which was pre-scheduled for 19.06.18. Again it is relevant to appreciate that from evidence of all the prosecution witnesses have categorically stated in their depositions that it was sister Ranjeeta of Asha Kiran Institute, who had hired the Nukkar-team on 18.06.18 to organize a show of street play at Kochang Bazar Tand on 19.06.18. Here the question arises in mind of this court that if there be no connection with sisters Ranjeeta of Asha Kiran with other co-accused like Pathalgarhi leaders John Junas Tiru, members of PLFI like Noel Sandi Purti or Baji Samad @ Takala & others then how those accused persons came to know on 18.06.18 itself that a street play team has to come at Kochang Bazar Tand to perform Nukkar Natak and for executing their plan of crime, they had hired or brought(even forcibly) to the accused Ashish Lomga and Ajub Sandi Purti on 18.06.18.
This fact also be perfected when the other accused persons had set both the accused Ashish and Ajub free after completion of the alleged crime. This very conduct of accused persons clearly gives ray of conspiracy which has been hatched among them either or 18.06.18 or prior to that.
It is further circumstance to be considered that all they had categorically stated in their depositions that sister Ranjeeta of Asha Kiran had hired and brought the Nukkar team to show a street- play at Kochang Bazar Tand, then why she had left the Nukkar team at Kochang Bazar Tand and had gone to church school, whereas it was her duty to ensure the display of such Nukkar-Natak there at Bazar Tand.