34 girls, aged 12-14, were attacked by a large crowd of teenage boys and their parents when they complained of sexual harassment in Supaul district. Six boys and one woman were already arrested after the attack. According to police and witnesses, the girls had been playing in the sports area of the government school in Triveniganj when a group of boys started making obscene comments. “The girls were playing inside the school compound when some boys came in and tried to harass them sexually. The girls fought them off, and there was an altercation,” told Jagathpati Chaudhury, the Director Education Officer in Supaul. In turn, the girls began to resist protesting with the teenagers, who initially retreated, but after 20 minutes they and some of their parents returned carrying bamboo sticks and iron rods.

The girls were injured and rushed to the hospital, however most of them were already returned to their home. A local official said that many of the girls were shocked and afraid of further violence. “They are suffering from psychological fear, but we are arranging shows of good entertaining movies on the campus to calm down their tension and dispel any such fear from their minds,” said Baidyanath Yadav, the district magistrate. He also told that now the police are planning to put high fences around the school.

It should be noted that sexual abuse has become an essential issue in Bihar, one of the poorest states in India. The local authorities found out severe incidents of violence, including about 30 girls claiming to be raped. Therefore, women’s groups held several protests that led to the suspension of more than 20 government officials and at least 14 arrests. The activists state that the situation is slowly changing, especially in large cities, but these conditions tend to be worse for women in remote and rural areas.

Peace Over War