THANE: Two more persons were arrested on Monday in connection with the alleged blackmailing and repeated gang-rape of a 15-year-old girl in Thane city, police said, and with this all 33 accused named by the victim have been nabbed.
After the duo was nabbed, the number of arrested persons went up to 31, while two minors were also detained earlier in connection with the case which has caused widespread outrage.
Four teams were formed to trace the accused, which numbered 33, and of these the last two persons wanted in the case were arrested on Monday, the police said.
The Thane police have set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT), led by a woman officer, to probe the gang-rape case.
The crime came to light on September 22, when the victim lodged a complaint with the Manpada police station in Dombivli, a distant suburb of Mumbai.
The girl was allegedly raped multiple times at different places in Thane district, including Dombivli, Badlapur, Murbad and Rabale, between January and September this year, the police have said.
Based on the girl's complaint, the Manpada police on Wednesday registered a case against all the accused persons under IPC sections 376 (rape), 376 (n) (repeated rape), 376 (d) (gang-rape), 376 (3) (rape on a woman under sixteen years of age) and provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Some of the accused blackmailed the minor girl by threatening to circulate her pictures and video of sexual assault on her that was recorded by them on their mobile phones, she had told the police.
She finally mustered courage to speak to her mother about the ordeal on September 22 after which the offence was registered and probe began, the police have said.