A minor Dalit girl was allegedly gangraped and the incident filmed on a cellphone by six youths, including the sons of a Deputy Collector and a head constable in Mandla. The incident came to light after the MMS, named “localwali”, was circulated in the tribal-dominated town of Madhya Pradesh.
“The rapists were very cruel and committed all sorts of indecent acts,” said sub-divisional police officer Santosh Mahto.
The video was shot in broad daylight in Mohantola jungle in Mandla more than six months ago. The victim was a little over 13 then. Mahto said the youths had taken turns to shoot separate clips.
Three of the accused — Sandeep Ahirwar, the 21-year-old son of a head constable, Satyendra Jharia, 19, and Surendra Nanda, 19 — were arrested yesterday.
Omprakash Pradhan, whose father is posted as the Deputy Collector in Mandla, was in Jabalpur at the time of the arrests and managed to escape. Abhishek Tiwari and Gopal Sarthi, the other two accused, are also at large.
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The victim, a resident of a village 20 km from the town, used to often visit Mandla with her uncle. She had become friendly with one of the youths. On one such trip to Mandla, two of the accused offered her a ride on a motorcycle. The girl was taken to Abhishek Tiwari’s house where she was raped.
The next morning, she was taken to Mohantola jungle — about two kilometres from the Mandla police station where Ahirwar’s father is posted — where the others raped her and filmed the incident on a cellphone. One of the accused owns a mobile phone shop.
Mahto said the police identified the victim from the MMS clip. When they reached the victim’s home they found that her parents, who work as labourers, were aware of the crime. Their neighbours had reportedly advised them to keep quiet as the accused included sons of a government officer and a policeman.
The police have booked the six under various sections of the IPC, the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the Information Technology Act.