A 22-year-old Rajasthan resident and his four accomplices have been arrested by the Mumbai Police in connection with the alleged kidnap and sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl.
The accused, who worked at a Chandigarh factory, had reportedly befriended the minor, who is from Mumbai, on a social networking site in February, police said. According to police, the two had shared their phone numbers and would talk frequently. In March, the accused had reportedly returned to Rajasthan when the nationwide lockdown was imposed. Thereafter, police said, the man again contacted the girl and they allegedly planned to elope.
The accused reportedly had asked a friend to arrange for a car, police said. Along with his 28-year-old brother, the man reportedly travelled to Rajgarh in Madhya Pradesh. From there six persons — the two brothers, a former colleague of the accused, his two friends and a driver — started for Mumbai in a Force Trax Cruiser. They allegedly reached Mumbai on July 1, police said.
The girl, meanwhile, had travelled to her grandmother’s house in the city. On July 1, she reportedly left the house on the pretext of visiting her uncle’s house.
When she did not return by 7.30 pm, her grandmother started to look for her, and subsequently lodged a police complaint, police said.
During the investigation, the Agripada police obtained the girl’s call data records and traced the number of the accused. “While scrutinising the call data records of the accused, we learnt that a few people from Madhya Pradesh had helped him and accordingly we located him at Jhalawar in Rajasthan,” said an officer.
A Mumbai police team rescued the minor from Jhalawar and arrested the accused and his brother. During interrogation, police learnt that four persons from Madhya Pradesh had helped them. Subsequently, a team reached Rajgarh, in MP, and arrested three of the accomplices. One of them is still at large, police said.
The five accused have been booked under relevant sections of kidnapping and rape under Indian Penal Code and Protection of Children under Sexual Offences Act, 2012. They were produced in court Tuesday and remanded to police custody.
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