MUMBAI: Four men and a 16-year-old girl have been arrested from the western suburb of Vakola in the alleged “gangrape” of a 13-year-old.
On Thursday evening, the older teenage girl reportedly took the victim to the residence of one of the four male accused, 22-year-old Mellwyn D’Souza, where he was celebrating his birthday. The 13-year-old girl was then drugged and allegedly sexually assaulted and molested.
The four men-all in their 20s and residents of Dutt Mandir Road in Santa Cruz (East)-were arrested on Friday morning. The Vakola police booked them under sections 376(2)(g) ( gangrape) and 363 (abduction) of the Indian Penal Code along with sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. The 16-year-old girl too was booked under IPC section 376(2)(g) because she “conspired in the crime”, police officers said. The accused and the victim are known to one another.
According to investigators, D’Souza threw his birthday party at his home on Thursday evening while his mother was away and invited friends Bipin Singh, Sachin Yadav and Venkateysh Naidu. He also called his 16-year-old girlfriend and asked her to bring along her 13-year-old friend.
The school-going victim was playing near her home around 6.30pm when the older teenager approached her and convinced her to attend D’Souza’s party.
At the birthday bash, as the men drank alcohol, the victim’s cola was reportedly spiked. She fell unconscious on drinking the soda, she later told the police, and that is when the crime was committed on her. Officers said it is unclear thus far precisely how many men sexually assaulted her and how many molested her.
When the victim came round, she was accompanied back home by the 16-year-old girl. There, the child complained to her mother of dizziness and bleeding. She was immediately rushed to V N Desai Hospital. Following a medical examination, the mother and child filed a case with the Vakola police.
The victim’s father works as a watchman, while the mother is employed in a private firm; her younger brother is a school student.
Policemen arrested the accused men and 16-year-old girl from their respective homes on Friday. They will be produced in court on Saturday so that investigators can get them remanded for custodial interrogation. Meanwhile, the police are waiting for the victim’s medical report.