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Pune gang rape case: Minor girl sexually assaulted by over a dozen men for days at multiple locations. Details

The rape victim is a 14-year-old girl and a student of Class VII. On the night of August 31, she had gone to the Pune railway station at around 10:30 pm to meet a friend.

On Tuesday (September 7), the police apprehended 6 people for the abduction and gang rape of a 14-year-old girl at multiple locations in and around the Pune railway station in Maharashtra. A day earlier on Monday, the Pune City police had arrested 8 other men involved in the heinous crime.

As per reports, the 6 accused arrested on Tuesday include Meerawali Shaikh, Mahboob alias Gaus Shaikh, Asif Pathan, Shahjur alias Siraj Chhaparband, Sameer Shaikh, Firoz alias Shahrukh Shaikh. Akbar Amar Shaikh, Noib Naim Khan, Asif Feroz Pathan, Rafik Murtaja Shaikh, Mashak Abdulmajid Kanyal, Azharuddin Islamuddin Ansari, Prashan Samuel Gaikwad, and Rajkumar Ramangina Prasad were arrested on Monday.

The 14 men were booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 34 (common intention), 363 (kidnapping), 376-da (gangrape of women under 16), 377(unnatural sex). Besides, Sections 4(2), 5(g), 12, 8, 6 of the POCSO Act 2012 was also invoked against the accused. The police had informed that the 5 of the accused arrested on Tuesday were accomplices of the earlier 8 accused. The group of 8 men were produced before a special court on Monday and remanded to 10 days in police custody till September 16. Two of the accused worked as Class IV employees at the Pune railway station while one of them was an air conditioning repairman.

About 6 of the accused men were autorickshaw drivers. One of the accused was an acquaintance of the victim, who took her to Chandigarh despite knowing that she was a minor. After the matter came to light, the Pune railways administration suspended the two employees from service. While speaking about the matter, a police inspector informed, “We have arrested five accomplices of the eight perpetrators arrested earlier. We have also arrested a 20-year-old acquaintance of the girl with whom she had travelled to Chandigarh after being released by the other accused.”

The Background of the incident

The rape victim is a 14-year-old girl and a student of Class VII. On the night of August 31, she had gone to the Pune railway station at around 10:30 pm to meet a friend. At this point, it remains unclear as to how she reached the station from her residence. Reportedly, her friend could not come to the station and the victim began looking for an autorickshaw to take her home. One driver offered her a ride but instead took the auto in a different direction.

Along with his aide, the accused sexually assaulted the minor girl in a ‘secluded spot.’ While threatening to harm the victim’s family, they took her to different locations in and around the Pune railway station. The autorickshaw driver and his accomplices then took turns to rape her between August 31 and September 1. After the girl went missing on August 31, the victim’s family had approached the Wanwadi police station on the following day and had filed a ‘missing person’ complaint. A case of kidnapping was thus registered by the cops on September 1.

One of the initial challenges for the police was to establish the sequence of events and understand how the accused men managed to take the victim to several different. According to an investigating officer, the victim was raped under tree cover, inside a lodge, in autorickshaws and the office premises of the Indian Railways. He added that the accused men would be taken to different locations to establish the timeline of the brutal gang rape.

“We are investigating the possibility of all 13 having sexually exploited the girl at some point of time… we are now trying to exactly establish the sequence of events and how the girl was taken to different places. The arrested accused will also be taken to these places to affirm the timeline that we know as of now. The girl was raped in multiple secluded locations, places with a tree cover or inside a lodge, and even in two auto-rickshaws and on the premises of an office of the Indian Railways. We are examining these locations to build our case.”

Investigation in the Pune gang-rape case

While speaking to the Times of India, senior police inspector Deepak Lagad informed that one of the accused saw the victim crying at the station and offered her a ride back home. “However, he took her to a lodge and raped her. Later, he called his friends, who took turns to rape the girl at various places before they left her on board the Pune-Jammu Tawi Jhelum express train around 5:30 pm on September 2,” Lagad pointed out. According to him, the police investigated the CCTV footage in and around the Pune railway station and was able to identify the autorickshaw driver, who bought the train ticket for the girl and left her on the Pune-Jammu Tawi Jhelum express.

“The police sent wireless messages to all railway police stations along the train route. The Chandigarh railway police found the girl on September 4 and alerted the Pune police. A police team reached Chandigarh by air on September 5 to bring the girl back to Pune. She has narrated her woes to a woman police officer…Based on the girl’s narration and CCTV footage, we took the autorickshaw driver into custody. He admitted to his involvement in the crime and revealed the names of his 12 others,” Lagad added.

Rescue, rehabilitation and aftermath

The girl was taken to the Sassoon General Hospital for immediate medical treatment. Her condition is said to be stable. Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Namrata Patil said, “The survivor and the suspects are not known to each other. For now, the girl is recuperating at a government hospital. Her medical test report is awaited.” According to the DCP, the victim might reveal a few more names in the upcoming days.

In a press statement, the Pune district information officer quoted Ajit Pawar and remarked, “The incident of rape of minor girl in Pune is infuriating and shameful. The police have taken steps to arrest all perpetrators and the state government will make sure that they receive the maximum possible punishment. Police have been given directions to make sure that such incidents do not happen again. As the suspects in the case include Railway employees, the state will contact the Union Railway Ministry to take necessary steps.”

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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