It's a case that's a chilling reminder of the crimes targeting young girls in our country, crimes which often involve relatives.
A 12-year-old girl living with her aunt in a Mumbai slum has revealed that she was raped repeatedly since 2008 by nine men including her 22-year-old cousin. The boy first raped the girl along with a friend at knife point, made an MMS clip of it and later used it to force her into have sex with friends and neighbours.
The girl, who had been sent to live with her aunt after her parents divorced and remarried, is now at a state remand home. Her only support is the aunt who decided to report her own son to police to ensure she gets justice.
"When she would go to school, the accused Dhaval and his friend Sharma would pick her up from school take her to a lodge and rape her. When others found out that this was happening they too joined. In all, nine people have abused her," said S Dhandhekar, Senior Police Inspector.
Among the accused is a 65-year-old whose daughter taught the child. The accused would regularly pick her up from school, take her to various lodges in the city and rape her.
The victim's parents separated 11 years ago. Since then she had been living with her maternal aunt. The incident came to light when the girl broke down and told her aunt who in turn filed a case against her son and eight others.
Five of the nine people accused in the case have been arrested but the main accused, the girl's cousin, is still at large.
It's a case that has shocked the city. The police are now hunting for the remaining absconding accused in the case. The focus now is not only on the rehabilitation of the child victim but also to gather strong evidence in order to ensure justice is delivered.