Two girls — aged 13 and 15 — were reportedly gang-raped by 13 people in front of their father in a moving car in the Dahod district of Gujarat on Thursday. Five of the 13 accused have been arrested by the police, while the search is on for the rest of them.
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Local reports claim the accused are all a part of the local alcohol mafia or liquor mafia, which illegally produces hooch and other forms of alcohol for locals in a state that has a prohibition on it.
The two girls and their father were reportedly picked up from his shop, and the accused took turns to rape the girls in a moving car in front of the father. Their motive is believed to be revenge for the actions of the girls' brother, who was arrested by the police in a case pertaining to alcohol prohibition. The brother had revealed to the police that he used to procure alcohol from the person who is the chief accused in the gang-rape case.
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The two main accused in the case are Kumat Baria and Gopsinh Baria. Of these, the victims' brother had spilled the beans on Kumat, who was booked by the police in a case. Subsequently, he picked up the father and the girls from the father's shop in the Bhutpagla village of the Devgadh Baria tehsil in Dahod, and took them away in a car. Four of the accused followed them on two motorcycles.
After the incident, the girls and their father were dropped off near the Mandav village, with the warning that there would be dire consequences if they went to the police. However, they chose to approach the cops, who took immediate action and arrested five of the accused, including Kumat and Gopsinh Baria. The others arrested are Ganpat Baria, Narvat Baria, Suresh Naik.
The police have booked them under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, as well as relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for not only gang rape but also abduction and giving life threats. The cops are also searching for the rest of the accused.
The girls have meanwhile been sent to Devgadh Baria for treatment. It is not known whether they have been given police protection.