The Bihar Police have so far arrested nine people in connection with the assault on more than 30 schoolgirls in Supaul district for resisting the sexual advances of a group of boys, ANI reported on Monday. While three were taken into custody on Sunday, six were held on Monday, according to NDTV.

The attack took place on Saturday when boys from a nearby village barged into state-run Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya in Supaul’s Triveniganj block, said the police. Some of the girls asked them to leave and stopped them from writing objectionable comments on the school wall. But when the boys refused and harassed them, the girls hit them, according to NDTV.

The boys returned with many others around 5 pm. School warden Reema Raj said the attack took place when the girls were going out to play. “I saw all the villagers, both men and women thrashing them,” Raj had told India Today. “They were kicked and beaten with canes.” The girls – aged 12 to 16 – were admitted to a local hospital. Twenty-six of them have been discharged.

Officials said they were verifying the age of those held. One of them is reported to be a minor. “[We have] asked for matric certificates from others,” Assistant Superintendent of Police of Triveniganj told ANI. “[We] want to identify the rest, don’t want any innocent to get caught.”

The parents of the boys were part of the mob that attacked the girls, the Hindustan Times reported quoting an unidentified official.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court expressed concern about incidents of crimes against minor girls being reported in Bihar. “All these newspapers are not good,” ANI quoted the judges as saying. “Skeletons of girls found...34 girls beaten up because they wanted to protect themselves from molestation. How could you treat children like this? These kinds of problems are arising day in and day out.”

The Central Bureau of Investigation had unearthed a human skeleton at a burial ground in Muzaffarpur district last week while investigating the alleged rape of 34 girls at a shelter home in the district.