16-year-old raped by 400 people, including cop, in Maharashtra
A 16-year-old married girl was allegedly raped by some 400 people over the past six months in Beed district of Maharashtra, reports said. The accused include a police officer whom she had approached for action. The girl is reportedly two months pregnant now. A case has been registered and three accused have been arrested so far, according to the police.
Why does this story matter?
Maharashtra is the fourth worst-hit Indian state in terms of crimes against women, according to last year's data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). In 2020, the state recorded 18,769 First Information Reports (FIRs) pertaining to sexual assault, i.e., a sexual offense was reported every two hours. Further, the state recorded a poor rate of conviction of 15.3% that year.
Victim was married off 8 months ago
According to CNN-News18 Lokmat, the girl's father had arranged her marriage eight months ago. Her mother had died two years ago. After marriage, she was assaulted and ill-treated by her husband and in-laws. She ran away, but her father refused to take her back. She ended up begging at a bus stand in Ambajogai. Thereafter, two men allegedly sexually exploited her after promising employment.
'Police took no action, harassed me'
Reportedly, the girl was then subjected to sexual exploitation by hundreds of men. When she approached the Ambajogai Police Station, the police took no action, she claimed. Instead, a police officer also allegedly harassed her.
Case registered; 3 people held
The girl finally managed to file a police complaint last week. The case has been registered under The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, and the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for rape and molestation. The Superintendent of Police in Beed Raja Ramasamy on Sunday said three people have been arrested in the case.
'Deeply anguished'; BJP leader demands action
"Deeply anguished by the news of a minor girl allegedly raped by 400 people in last 6 months. Law & Order situation in Maharashtra is very grim," Vanathi Srinivasan of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tweeted. "MVA government must take serious steps to ensure that such incidents do not happen. We also demand the strictest punishment for the guilty," she added.