A 10-year-old girl was allegedly raped for over three months by three men, including a 65-year-old watchman in Madhya Pradesh’s capital Bhopal, police said. The accused were arrested on Thursday and sent to judicial custody.
The accused — Nanhu Lal, 65, Gokul Panwala, 45, and Gyanendra Pandit, 36 — were thrashed by angry neighbours when they were taken to their houses to gather evidence as part of investigation, Jehangirabad Police Station Inspector Preetam Singh Thakur told PTI. While Gokul runs a paan shop, Gyanendra is a driver, the police said.
According to the police, the accused lived in the same neighbourhood and allegedly raped the girl at a house owned by Suman Pandey. Suman would offer her chocolates and bring her home where the accused would be waiting for them. After the alleged assault, they threatened the girl not to tell anyone about it.
Suman has also been arrested for luring the minor to her home and helping the accused assault her, the police officer added.
The girl, a Class 5 student, who was allegedly raped several times in the last few months, was last assaulted on Sunday. The mother, a domestic help, had noticed a change in the girl’s behaviour and asked her if something was troubling her.
“She told us that the girl had been unusually quiet for the last few days. Initially, she did not speak, but later told her everything following with the mother filed a complaint against the accused,” Mr Thakur said.
The accused face charges of gang-rape and under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).
Earlier this month, a 19-year-old Indian Administrative Service (IAS) aspirant was allegedly raped by four men for nearly three hours near the railway tracks in the city when she was returning home after attending a coaching class.
To add to her misery, the police had allegedly refused to investigate until she and her parents found two of the rapists and dragged them to the police station.
After massive outrage over the incident, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan promised to take measures to ensure women safety and announced installation of CCTV cameras at entry gates of all women’s hostels in the state. Mr Chouhan also directed officials to shut down liquor shops near schools, colleges and religious places.