Special team formed to investigate rape of minor girl in Thane, 26 persons arrested

Published : September 24, 2021 16:27 IST

Activists of the Nationalist Congress Party at Manpada Police Station demanding justice for the 15-year-old rape victim, on September 23. Photo: PTI

In a shocking and brutal case of rape, a 15-year-old girl from Dombivali in Thane district of Maharashtra registered a complaint with the Thane Police on September 22 that she had been sexually assaulted by 33 persons on multiple occasions in different parts of the city over a period of nine months. On the basis of the complaint, the Thane Police have arrested 26 persons, including two minors. This is the second rape case in recent weeks in Greater Mumbai, a city that is considered to be safe for women.

The police told mediapersons that the victim was sexually assaulted in January by a person she had connected with on social media. He recorded the act on his mobile phone and used the footage to blackmail her into meeting other men who then sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions. Her plight came to light when a relative of the girl noticed that the she showed signs of being depressed and asked her if something was wrong. She then narrated her trauma. The police said that the victim had gone through a medical examination and that she was undergoing medical treatment.

The police have registered a First Information Report (FIR) and booked the accused under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POSCO). A Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by a woman officer has been formed to investigate the case, said Datta Karale, Additional Commissioner of Police (East). The police were hopeful of nabbing the remaining perpetrators in the next few days, he said.

Earlier this month, a 32-year-old woman was sexually assaulted and killed in Sakinaka, a north-eastern suburb of Mumbai. The horrific incident was a reminder of the 2012 Nirbhaya case as the attacker used a metal instrument to assault the woman.

The Uddhav Thackeray government has come in for severe criticism following the incidents. His detractors say there are a rising number of crimes against women in Mumbai. Following an appeal by opposition party members, Governor B.S. Koshiyari asked Thackeray to convene a special session of the State legislature to discuss the issue of crimes against women. Thackeray, who is constantly at logger heads with Koshiyari, hit back saying the Governor should request the Centre to call a session of Parliament to discuss issues concerning the safety of women and growing attacks on them. The State had taken cognisance of the heinous crimes and aggressive efforts were on to make sure that the safety of women was not compromised in the city, said Thackeray.

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