The Agripada police on Tuesday arrested five youths for allegedly kidnapping and raping a 13-year-old girl.
According to the police, the main accused, a 22-year-old youth, befriended the teenager on Instagram and was in constant touch with her for the last few months. On July 1, the main accused, along with four of his accomplices, kidnapped the girl and took her to Rajasthan where she was allegedly raped her at his native place in Jhalawar district.
The girl, who is a resident of Virar, had come to her aunt's place in Agripada, from where she was taken in a vehicle by the alleged kidnappers.
Following her sudden disappearance, the girl's aunt approached the police and registered an case of kidnapping. Within days of registering the offence, the police rescued the girl and arrested the youth from Rajasthan. The other four, who helped the youth, were arrested from Madhya Pradesh.
During investigation, police learnt that the group of youths came to the city and took the girl away in a car. incidentally, the vehicle used by the accused was not intercepted despite the lockdown norms being in effect.
The police said that two teams were dispatched to Rajastan and Madhya Pradesh after gettign some leads to their whereabouts. One police team rescued the girl from Rajasthan and arrested the main accused, while the other arrested the remaining four who helped the youth to abduct the girl from Mumbai. All the accused were brought to Mumbai on transit remand. The girl has been sent to the children's home.
"A case has been registered under sections 376 (rape) of of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act," said Sawalaram Agawane, senior inspector of Agripada police station. The accused were produced to the court.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)