The 16-year-old girl is a student of Class 11.
A 16-year-old girl was allegedly raped by 10 men over a period of five months in Solapur district in Maharashtra. An FIR in the matter was registered on Tuesday at the Vijapur Naka police station in Solapur city.
The girl is a student in Class 11. Five of the accused have been arrested so far.
According to the Solapur police, the girl was spotted crying near a temple by a passerby. When asked, the girl told the passerby that her stomach was aching. The passerby suspected foul play and reported the matter to the police. Women police personnel from the Vijaypur Naka police station arrived and escorted the girl to the police station.
At the police station, Newslaundry was told, the girl was initially reluctant to open up. After four hours of conversation, she told the police she had been repeatedly raped by a group of men since September, for a period of five months.
The police registered a case of gangrape. The accused have been booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Five of the accused were arrested on the intervening night of February 12 and 13. They have been identified as Sachin Rathod (24), his brother Pravin Rathod (22), Akshay Chavan (22), Karan Bharle (19), and Gaurav Bhosle (22). They're all residents of Solapur city. Out of the 10 accused, five are auto-rickshaw drivers.
The girl used to go to school in Sachin Rathod's auto, explained Hemant Shedge, a senior police inspector at the Vijapur Naka police station. "They were in a relationship but Rathod took advantage of her," Shedge told Newslaundry.
The girl is a minor, a fact Shedge emphasised. "Her consent is not valid. They took advantage of her innocence."
"Sachin introduced her to another accused who lured her into a trap and had sexual relations with her. That accused is still absconding," Shedge continued. "After some days, she was introduced to Sachin's younger brother, Praveen. He not only sexually abused her but invited his other friends to do so...Gradually, in a group, they took her to remote places and raped her. They identified about seven remotes spots for this."
Shedge added, "She was trapped and couldn't speak about her ordeal to her family and friends...She became helpless and that's why, on Tuesday, she went to the temple to pray..."
Ankush Shinde, commissioner of police, Solapur, told Newslaundry: "As soon as this incident came to the notice of our police team, they took prompt action and have arrested five of the accused. Further investigation is going on, and we will arrest the absconding ones very soon."