A youth (22) has been arrested by Mumbai Police for allegedly befriending a minor girl (13) from Virar on a social media network, kidnapping her from her grandmother’s home in the city and raping her in his native state, Rajasthan.
The accused three accomplices have also been arrested from Madhya Pradesh (MP) for allegedly trying to help him kidnap the rape survivor.
Police said the rape survivor lives with her mother and elder sister in Virar. She had come to visit her grandmother, who lives at Agripada in south Mumbai, in June.
The rape survivor, who had befriended the accused on the social media network about a year ago, has been in regular touch with him, her relatives told the police.
“On July 1, the accused, who works at a Haryana-based company that manufactures bottled water, along with his MP-based friends came to Mumbai in a private vehicle and picked up the minor girl from Agripada. He took her to his native state Rajasthan and raped her there,” said Sawalaram Agawane, senior inspector, Agripada police station.
The police started a probe on the basis of a complaint filed by the rape survivor’s grandmother at Agripada police station.
A preliminary probe revealed that the rape survivor was in contact with a person on the social media network for a while and recently the communication had become more regular.
Police analysed her social media activities and zeroed in on a suspect’s profile and also found his phone number linked to it. An analysis of the call details traced the accused’s links to Rajasthan and MP.
Two separate police teams were sent to these two states.
A police team arrested the accused and rescued the rape survivor from Rajasthan’s Jhalawar district on Monday. While the other team arrested the accused’s three accomplices from MP. Police have also seized an MP registered car that was used in the rape survivor’s abduction.
“The accused have been brought to Mumbai on transit remand. They will be produced before a court on Tuesday. However, one accused is still wanted in the case,” said R Syed, inspector, Agripada police station.
The accused has been booked under relevant sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, Agawane said.
The rape survivor has been sent to a children’s home for safe custody, he added.
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