The Kerala Police have arrested three people accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old in Kochi on Tuesday. The horrific incident of gang rape was reported at the Eloor police station in Ernakulam city on Sunday, and a First Information Report was registered based on the intimation of the doctor who the minor and her grandmother had consulted.
Based on the complaint, three migrant workers originally from Uttar Pradesh have been arrested by the police. The accused have been identified as Shahid (24), Farhad Khan (29) and Haneefa (28) They were engaged in carpentry work and sundry jobs in the city and had been living in the Manjammel neighbourhood. The victim was their neighbour and lives with her grandmother. The girl, according to reports, revealed the details of the assault during a counseliing session arranged by her school.
According to reports, the minor was sexually assaulted by the accused men several times. She was also threatened and forcefully taken to their residence. The Eloor police have identified six persons - all Uttar Pradesh natives - as the accused. This includes the three accused who have now been arrested.
“The other three people had fled to their home towns during the lockdown. The incident first took place in March, when the lockdown was imposed,” an officer from the Eloor station told TNM.
The case has now been transferred to the Ernakulam Central Station, considering the seriousness of the accusation. Various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 (POCSO) and the Juvenile Justice Act (JJ Act) have been invoked.
Meanwhile, the Kerala police have also sought the help of the Uttar Pradesh police to nab the remaining persons accused in the case, who are believed to have fled to Uttar Pradesh earlier.