29 men are in police custody in India for allegedly gang raping a 15-year old girl repeatedly for a period of about 8 months since January.
A junior officer with the Mandapa police in the city of Dombivli, Dinkar Mukne said that the victim was first raped on January 29 this year.
Mukne said that the rape was filmed and the video was used to blackmail the girl for the 8-month period.
It is alleged that a total of 33 perpetrators including two teenagers abused her until last week when her family discovered what was going on.
The family reported the matter to the police on Wednesday.
The suspects were arrested under the country’s penal code, and separately under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) law, which has more severe sentences of longer jail time.
“We are investigating the allegations and how the initial contact came about. But the girl knew some of the men and had come in contact with a few through social media,” said Sonali Dhole, senior police official who is heading the investigation.
Dhloe revealed that the girl was taken to different locations within Dombivli and outside the city.
This is the latest incident of rape cases that have shocked the country and highlighted once again its persistent problem with sexual assault.
According to reports a total of 28,000 rape cases were reported in 2020.
Just two weeks ago, a woman who was allegedly raped in Mumbai died of her injuries, after she was found lying unconscious inside an open minibus. Activists say the case bears a striking similarity to the brutal 2012 gang-rape and murder of a student that prompted mass nationwide protests.
Last month, a 9-year-old girl was gang-raped and murdered in the capital of Delhi. Four men, including a Hindu priest, have been charged with involvement in her death.