THE THREE men arrested for sexually abusing a seven-year-old girl might have targeted other children before, police said. The girl was allegedly abused five times over eight months.
“The accused would hang around outside the school where the girl is a student and would take her to an abandoned building behind the school while she waited for her rickshaw,” a senior officer said.
Police said the matter came to light when the child did not reach home on time on Friday and her family went looking for her. “The girl’s grandmother found her and when she asked the child where she had been, she told her about the ‘uncles’ who took her to ‘play’ inside the empty building. Based on the girl’s description, we arrested the three men,” a senior officer said.
Police further said the three men had businesses close to the school. “Two of them have their own businesses in catering and garments while the third works in a shop that sells bags. We are trying to find out how they came together to commit the crime. It seems that they had targeted other children and women before as everything was planned. Sometimes, all three would wait outside for the girl, but most times, one of the men would lure her into the empty house by telling her that they knew her family. Once inside the house, they convinced the girl that this was a game and instructed her to keep it a secret,” said a senior officer linked to the investigation.
The three accused were presented before the court on Monday and remanded in police custody till September 24. “We are trying to find out if there are other victims. We are also getting CCTV footage from the area and their mobile phone locations to ensure that we have all the evidence during the trial,” said an officer.
Shopkeeper molests 11-yr-old girl
An 11-year-old girl was allegedly molested by a 32-year-old shopkeeper in the city on Sunday. The girl managed to flee the shop, where she went to buy stationery, and alerted her parents, police said.
According to police, the girl went to buy stickers from a shop near her house when the accused asked her to come inside, where he molested her. “The girl ran from the shop and alerted her parents who informed us. We went to the shop only to find it closed. We are yet to identify and arrest the accused, but we are investigating,” said a senior officer from the police station where the FIR was was registered.