Police have arrested three men for allegedly gang-raping a 17-year-old orphan girl at Vasai in Maharashtra's Palghar district, an official said on Saturday.
Besides gang-rape, the accused had sexually assaulted her separately on multiple occasions between November 2020 and August this year, he said.
The girl's mother had deserted the family, following which the minor started living with her father in a rented house. However, after his death in November last year, the landlord asked the girl to leave the place, due to which she started living on a footpath in Vasai, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Railways) Pradeep Jadhav said.
"On August 3, a police team found the girl loitering around the Vasai railway station area. When they asked about where she was from, she could not share any information as she appeared to be under some kind of trauma. The police then took help of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and some NGOs to talk to the girl," he said.
The teen was also sent for a medical examination, which revealed that she had been sexually assaulted, the DCP said.
However, she only took name of one Ajay, based on which the police started the probe, Jadhav said.
The girl later opened up and started sharing information. She said that she resided in Vasai with her father after her mother left them. In November 2020, her father died and the house owner evicted her. After that the girl started roaming on the streets and resided on footpaths, where she was sexually assaulted several times, he said.
"Based on this information, the police formed teams to probe the case and checked the CCTV footage. Finally, on August 10, the prime accused in the case, Ajay Kumar Vinod Jaiswal (34), was nabbed, who confessed to the crime and also revealed the names of his associates," Jadhav said.
Accordingly, the remaining two accused - Munna Yadav (28) and Akram Choudhari (34) - were arrested on Friday, police said.
Police have registered an offence against the trio under IPC sections 363 (kidnapping), 376 (rape), 376 (D) (gang-rape) of the IPC and also section 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).
Vasai railway police inspector Bapusaheb Bagal said that girl is traumatised.
"We are taking the assistance of the counsellors. The girl will be rehabilitated and given vocational training," he said.
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