A group of men allegedly raped five women working with a non-governmental organisation in Jharkhand on Tuesday, PTI reported quoting police officials on Friday. The women had gone to Chochang village in Jharkhand to create awareness on migration and human trafficking when the incident took place.

An 11-member team of the NGO had gone to the village to perform a street play on migration and human trafficking, Superintendent of Police Ashwini Kumar Sinha said. However, a group of men arrived at the scene, took the five women to a nearby forest at gunpoint and five of them raped the women, he added. The abductors also allegedly made videos of the act and threatened to distribute them.

“The perpetrators, who are Pathalgadi supporters, released the women after three hours,” Ranchi Range Deputy Inspector General AV Homkar said according to the Hindustan Times. Pathalgadi is a practice adopted by some villages in Jharkhand to declare their gram sabha as the only sovereign authority, not the state or central government.

Sinha said the police have detained eight people in connection with the case, and the accused have been identified. Three teams have been formed to investigate the matter, he added.

The National Commission for Women has constituted a three-member team to investigate the case and has written to the Jharkhand Director General Police directing him to apprise the commission about action taken, ANI reported.