Twenty-two men allegedly drugged, raped, filmed and blackmailed an 11-year-old hearing-impaired girl for seven months at an apartment complex in Chennai.
The survivor Priya (name changed) resides with her parents at an apartment complex in the city. Living in the gated community, the family was surrounded by security guards, lift operators and handymen.
According to a report in the Times Of India, the hearing-impaired child was regularly assaulted by the 22 men who worked as security guards and handymen in the complex. The men reportedly drugged the child with injections, spiked soft drinks and other substances. According to one investigating officer quoted by the report, the men also filmed themselves raping the child, blackmailing her into not telling her parents. The men would threaten her with violence, saying that they would also release the video, the officer said.
The matter came to light when the girl told her sister, who was visiting from Delhi, that she had a stomach ache. When she narrated her trauma, the family registered a complaint with the all-women police station in Ayanavaram.
"Ravi (66-year-old lift operator) would lead away the child as soon as she alighted from her school van to the basement, public washrooms, the terrace and gym, where he and his accomplices raped her. Many of the flats were vacant so the suspects had little hindrance while committing the crime." - Investigating officer
Eighteen men have been arrested so far. The men were all reportedly employees of FOCUS and UK Facility Services, a private security firm in the city.
According to a report in The News Indian Express, which quotes a senior official, three of the men have confessed to their crimes while the police have detained 15 others. The men worked as security guards, plumbers, and maintenance staff in and around the apartment complex.
(The story was first published on The News Minute and has been republished with permission.)
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