Three men were arrested in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday for allegedly gangraping a 14-year-old girl in a bus in Salem district.
The incident, a stark reminder of the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape in which a 23-year-old woman was brutally raped and assaulted in a moving bus in New Delhi, took place on Monday.
Police says the girl, who had finished Class IX this year, ran away from home in Salem and boarded the bus on Monday afternoon. She stayed on the bus for the next seven hours as it made several trips from Salem to Omalur about 20 kilometres away and back.
After the last trip, the crew parked the bus in an isolated area about seven kilometres away from Omalur and allegedly sexually assaulted the teenager one after the other, police said.
An officer told NDTV, “The girl says the men threatened her to not get off the bus. She escaped and screamed when the third man assaulted her sexually. Local people rescued her and handed over the men.”
A senior police official said the three were arrested and were being questioned.
“A total of nine sections including those from the IPC, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, have been invoked against the accused,” he told PTI.
The girl was taken to a hospital and produced before the Child Welfare Committee, he said.
The police were on the lookout for another person, stated to be involved in the case, though not part of the sexual assault.
Senior district officials visited the girl and held enquiries, he added.
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