Over 30 people have been accused of gang-raping a 15-year-old girl multiple times over a period of nine months near Mumbai, in a case that has left Maharashtra shaken to the core. The girl has named 33 attackers, of which 24 have been arrested. Two minors have also been detained.
The tragic story began in January when the girl's friend allegedly raped her and filmed the crime. He used the video to blackmail her and rape her again.
He allegedly shared the video with many others - friends and acquaintances - and they all used it to blackmail the teen.
The girl was gang-raped by the group multiple times and at several spots near Mumbai, according to the police.
"It all started when the lover of the girl raped her in January and made a video of the incident. He started blackmailing her on the basis of that video. Later on, his friends and acquaintances gang-raped her at least on four to five occasions at different places, including Dombivili, Badlapur, Murbad and Rabale in the district," Additional Commissioner of Police (East region), Dattatray Karale said.
The girl approached the police last night and is being treated in hospital. Her wrenching account led to the arrest of 24 men. She knew almost all the attackers, the police said
The police have listed charges under the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The case has caused public outrage and has also seized the attention of political parties who have demanded the toughest punishment for those who assaulted the teen.
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari wrote to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asking for a special session and was in turn accused of politics by Maharashtra's ruling Shiv Sena. The Sena once again accused the Governor of being a proxy for the BJP at the Centre.