Updated: September 7, 2021 9:48:54 am
IN a shocking incident, a 14-year-old girl was abducted from Pune railway station area and gangraped at different places in the city last week. After an extensive manhunt conducted by Pune City Police, eight persons, including two employees of Indian Railways and five auto-rickshaw drivers, have been arrested. Search is still on for five more persons suspected to be involved in the crime.
The girl, who has suffered severe mental trauma, has been hospitalised and kept under observation.
A First Information Report in the case has been registered at a police station in Pune City jurisdiction. Officials from the police station said they started looking into the case after the girl was reported missing by her family. The girl had reportedly left her house and gone to the Pune railway station on August 31.
A police official, who is part of the probe, said, “… The girl went to the Pune station area as she wanted to travel outside the city to meet a friend. An auto-rickshaw driver, who is now one of the arrested suspects, told her that the train she was looking for was not scheduled until the next day. On the pretext of giving her a lift and helping her find a place to stay, he took her to another area.
The man is then believed to have called his accomplices. Over the next several hours, the girl was taken to different places and was gangraped multiple times. The suspects have taken her to secluded areas, places with either a tree cover or a lodge. The girl was also raped in the rickshaw and even on the premises of the Railways office. The suspects also threatened to harm her and her family members as they continued to subject her to sexual abuse.”
Meanwhile, the police were approached by the family of the girl on September 1, when they filed a missing persons report. As per procedure, the police registered a case of kidnapping as the missing complaint was about a minor girl.
After being released by the perpetrators, the girl is believed to have travelled outside Pune, and she was finally traced by police on September 5. She was then taken to a hospital for medical assistance. Police officials said that the timeline of when she was released by the suspects, and how and where she went after that, was being ascertained.
Based on various leads, including those from security camera footage, police have till now arrested eight persons, including two employees of the Railways.
A police official said that five of the arrested suspects are rickshaw drivers, one is an air conditioning repairman and two are employees of the Railways. While police have got the names of five more suspects, no details were available about them.
Divisional Railway Manager of Pune, Renu Sharma, said that immediately after being informed of the alleged involvement of two Railways employees in the crime, the administration suspended them. “We didn’t know the identity of the accused. Once the names were shared with us on Monday evening, we immediately suspended them from service. The investigation is being carried out by the Pune Police and we are extending our cooperation,” said Sharma.
Another police officer, who is part of the probe, said, “The girl has been hospitalised and kept under observation… her condition remains stable. She has suffered serious mental trauma. She and her family members are being provided all possible assistance, including counselling.”
Police have filed the case under Indian Penal Code sections 363 (kidnapping), 376DA (gang rape of woman under 16 years of age), 377 (unnatural offences) and relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.