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17 Men Who Allegedly Raped 12-year-old Girl in Chennai for 7 Months Thrashed in Court

The Madras high court lawyers association has also decided not to represent any accused in the case.

Poornima Murali | CNN-News18

Updated:July 17, 2018, 8:46 PM IST

Chennai: For over seven months, a 12-year-old girl was allegedly raped by as many as 20 men, most of them security guards and maintenance workers at an apartment complex at Ayanavaram in Chennai.

The police have arrested 17 people, including the society’s security guard, and produced them before a magistrate on Tuesday afternoon. When they were brought to court, they were thrashed allegedly by some lawyers. The Madras high court lawyers association has also decided not to represent any accused in the case.

The accused, police said, drugged and sedated the victim, who has a hearing disability, before sexually assaulting her. They police say she was also blackmailed. The accused, who included the lift operators and water suppliers who frequented the gated apartment complex, threatened her with dire consequences if she told her family.

The shocking repeated sexual assault came to light after the victim, a class seven student, narrated her ordeal to her elder sister, who had come to Chennai from Delhi last week to spend some time with her family.

The sister informed their parents who lodged a police complaint on July 15.

The arrests were made following a complaint by the victim's father. The victim has identified all the accused, police said. The arrested also included plumbers, electricians and others engaged in menial jobs, they said.

All the accused have been remanded to judicial custody till July 31. They have been booked under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

A police officer said the girl was first sexually assaulted by a lift operator and later several others joined in the assault.

At least four of them have confessed to the assault, while two others said they had molested the girl, the officer said.

Police said further investigations were on and CCTV footage would be analysed. "We are taking it as a special case and working on it," the officer said, adding that the hunt is on for the rest of the perpetrators.

DMK working president MK Stalin demanded the strongest punishment for the accused and said government assistance should be provided to the family of the minor girl.

In a statement, Stalin said, the government should ensure safety of women in all parts of Tamil Nadu. "There is onus on government to protect women and there should be a speedy trial and justice for the victim," he said.

Congress spokesperson Khushbu Sundar also told News18 that all the perpetrators should be given the strictest punishment.

| Edited by: Puja Menon
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