SALEM: The Salem district police arrested four people on the charge of gang-raping a15-year-old girl in a private bus near Omalur in Salem district on Tuesday. Police sources said one of the accused had raped the girl on multiple occasions.The incident came to light when she raised an alarm while three of the men were committing the act in the bus. Villagers rescued her and handed over the gang to the police.
The accused have been identified as G Vijayan, 20, of Veeranam in the district, and his friends K Perumal, 22, of Sanyasikundu, S Manivannan, 31, of Sanyasikundu and P Murugan, 35, of Athikaripatty. Vijayan and Perumal were conductors and the other two were drivers in a private bus company.
According to the Omalur police, the girl had studied up to Class IX. Her father is a mason and her mother is a daily wage labourer. It is learnt that three years ago she developed a relationship with Vijayan. Police said he raped the girl on multiple occasions and recently introduced her to his friend Perumal. ' After that, she became very close to Perumal too,' they said.
On Monday night, the girl was travelling in the bus plying between Salem and Naranampalayam.'After completing the last trip, Perumal, who was the conductor of the bus, raped the girl at Naranampalayam around 1am. After this, the driver of the bus Manivanan and Murugan raped her.'
When the girl raised an alarm, villagers rescued her and caught hold of the trio. On being informed, the Omalur police rushed to the spot and arrested the trio. They rescued the girl and sent her to a government hospital in the city. 'She will be given counselling as she is in a state of shock,' police said. Vijayan, who had raped her on multiple occasions, too was arrested based on the girl's statement. Meanwhile, members of a women's organisation, including AIDWA, staged a demonstration in front of the Omalur police station demanding stringent action against the rape accused.
Salem district SP P Rajan said the accused were booked under nine sections, including sections 366A (procuration of minor girl), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 376D (gang rape) and 506(i) (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 5(g) (whoever commits gang penetrative sexual assault on a child) and 6 (punishment for committing aggravated penetrative sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. He said as the girl is a dalit, one more case has been booked against two accused as they belonged to the MBC category. 'She will be given a compensation of 4.12 lakh based on SCST prevention of Atrocities Act,' the SP said.