CHENNAI: An 11-year-old hearing impaired girl in Chennai was allegedly raped by more than 15 men over the last six months. On Monday, police arrested 18 men in connection to the case. The incident came to light on July 13, when the victim, a class 7 student, informed her elder sister that she was suffering from stomach pain. “She told her sister that she was raped, sometimes even gang-raped, by the men working in the apartment they lived in. Subsequently, the sister informed the parents who lodged a complaint with the police,” said a police officer.
The victim’s family hails from Delhi and moved to the city 30 years ago. They live in a gated community of 300 houses, equipped with round-the-clock security. In the complaint, the victim’s mother said the assaults began on January 15 when the lift operator, Ravi, 66, took the child to an isolated place in the apartment complex and raped her.
“A few days later, he brought two other men from outside, who were under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and raped her. They videotaped the rape and threatened the girl, telling her not to tell anybody and to come whenever they called. Fearing this, the girl remained silent,” said the officer, quoting the victim.
The mother alleged the men had taken the child to isolated places in the complex, including the basement, public washroom, terrace, and gym, and raped her. “The men tied a belt around her neck and covered her eyes and sometimes spiked her soft drinks to rape her,” the mother said in the complaint.
18 men held for allegedly sexually harassing an 11-year-old girl for over a period of 7 months in Chennai. The accused involve security men, lift operator & water suppliers in the apartment where the minor girl stays. Police investigation underway pic.twitter.com/DcJIUhwDCG— ANI (@ANI) July 17, 2018
Police said the investigation revealed that the men would wait near the apartment gate and as the girl came back from school, they would take her and rape her. “They committed the crime in the bathroom and on certain floors where houses are vacant. There are CCTVs installed only at the entrance,” said the officer.
The victim’s father, who runs an electronic shop, would leave home early. The child’s mother is a homemaker and her elder sister studies at a private college in another city. Assuming the child had gone out to play, the mother would wait for her to return. Only on Sunday, was the victim was taken to the government hospital for medical examination.
On Monday, her statement was recorded in the Mahila Court. The apartment has engaged staff for house-keeping and security from two private companies -- Focus and UKFS -- on a contract basis. The 18 men arrested on Monday were working as a plumber, security guards, and house-keeping staff in the same apartment.
“Three men confessed to their crime. We have detained 15 others and are conducting inquiries,” a senior police officer said. All the men were in the age group of 23 to 66 years. It may be recalled that on June 11, a Class 10 student was allegedly raped repeatedly by a group of youngsters, after they gave her liquor and drugs, in Tiruvallur. Seven men were arrested in that case.