The two 12-year-old girls, who were gangraped in Hinjewadi on September 16, were sexually assaulted by two other men a few days before the rape, suspect police. One of the girls died three days after the gangrape.
Police have arrested two suspects in connection with the first assault, based on their investigation and information given by the surviving victim.
The two suspects — Sumiran Gaikwad (18) and Somnath Waghole (23) — were produced before a magistrate’s court in Pune on Tuesday and remanded to police custody till September 29. Police also invoked the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, as the deceased girl belonged to a Scheduled Tribe (ST) community, while three of the total four accused belong to non-ST communities. Earlier, the probe had revealed that the two accused in the gangrape, one of them a 16-year-old minor, had lured the girls with chocolates, taken them to a secluded area and raped them. While the victims belonged to migrant labourer families, the two accused were employees of a sugar factor.
The accused had also threatened to harm the two girls if they told anyone about the incident. Police had arrested Ganesh Nikam (22) and detained the 16-year-old youth on September 19.
“The girl who survived is in a stable condition now. She has revealed that there could have been two more persons involved in a similar crime against them, but that crime was committed earlier. The girl has given us details of two more suspects… we have arrested them and further probe is on. It seems that the other suspects also found the two girls alone and sexually assaulted them,” Pimpri-Chinchwad Police Commissioner R K Padmanabhan said on Tuesday.
Police suspect that the first sexual assault took place at least three to four days before the rape.
In the aftermath of the rape, both girls were in a state of shock and trauma. The incident came to light after one of them complained about abdominal pain to her mother. She was taken to a local hospital, where doctors referred her to a larger hospital. Doctors at the second hospital recognised the symptoms of sexual assault and informed the police. The mother of the girl told police that her daughter had been accompanied with another 12-year-old girl on the day of the incident.
The second girl shared more details of the crime with police, and the information led to the arrest of Nikam and the minor.
The first girl, who was undergoing treatment at the hospital, slipped into a coma and died on the night of September 19.