A 13-year-old girl was gang-raped by two minors at a lonely place on the outskirts of Surat, and later raped by an auto driver twice at his house in Surat city, on Wednesday night. The Surat police arrested the auto rickshaw driver on Thursday night, and a search is on for the other two accused.
Police said the 13-year-old resident of Surat had left her house on Wednesday evening without informing anyone at home. The family hails from Jharkhand and had been living on the outskirts of Surat. The girl met two teenagers riding a bike as she was walking on the roadside. One of them was about 15 years old and another 17, both residents of her neighbourhood. She allegedly told the boys that she had left home and was on her way to Mumbai to become a model, and asked if they could drop her to Surat railway station.
The boys agreed but took her to a lonely area on the outskirts of the city and took turns to rape her. She resisted the attack but the boys threatened her against raising an alarm or informing anyone about what they did to her, police said. It was night time by then.
After committing the gang-rape, the boys told her that they would take her to Surat Railway station. Instead, they dropped her about five minutes away from the station and asked an auto driver to take her there, police said.
The auto driver tried to get more information from her and instead of going towards the railway station he instead took her to his rented house in another locality in Surat city where he lived alone. At first, he told her to wait for some time as he had some work, police said. Then he told her to remain in the house as there were no trains at the time and that she could catch one on Thursday morning. Later at night, he raped her twice after threatening her, the police added.
When she did not come home, the girl’s parents carried out a search for her, and then lodged a missing person complaint with the local police station on Wednesday night.
On Thursday afternoon, the auto driver dropped the girl on the side of the road in another locality in the city, and the girl somehow managed to return to her house. She told her parents what happened and they informed the police. Based on he girl’s complaint, the police registered offences against the accused under IPC section 363, 376(2) (N), 376 (3), 376(D) (A), 377, 342, 506(2), 114, and under POCSO’s various sections 3(A), 4, 5 (L), 6, and 8. By Thursday evening, the police took the girl to a hospital for a medical examination.
The police then began a search for the accused minor boys. They have collected minute details from the complainant and are looking at CCTV footage in the localities mentioned in her complaint. Speaking to autorickshaw drivers in the area where the girl had been picked up, the police traced the accused auto driver. On Thursday night the police reached his rented accommodation and picked him up. Sources said the police officials took a photo of him on their phones and sent it to their staff at the police station where the complainant was present. She identified the man as the accused, after which the police formally arrested him.
The auto driver was made to undergo a medical examination at a hospital.
Speaking to The Indian Express, the investigating officer said, “We have arrested the accused auto driver and a search is on for the two minors who had gang-raped her. The complainant is now staying at home with her parents.”