A fifteen-year-old girl has allegedly been raped by a group of youths over a period of nine days in Hassan. The incident came to light on Thursday night after the victim reached a child care home, run by the Department of Women and Child Development, in the city and narrated her story to the members of the district Child Welfare Committee.

The victim, native of a village in Alur taluk, was allegedly brought to Hassan city by her distant relative Putta on December 19 on assuring her a job. Putta and his friend Raja allegedly raped her in a forest area in Kattaya hobli and left her at the KSRTC bus stand.

Later she came in contact with Dayanand, who runs a shop in the city, in connection with recharging her cell phone. Dayananda and several of his friends took her to cinema and lodges and raped her in the following days.

Ms. Madhura, chairman of Child Welfare Committee, told The Hindu that the case of rape came to light when the victim reached the child care home with an application seeking accommodation in the child care home.

“Initially she told us that she wanted to stay in the care home as her father had been torturing her. We contacted her parents over phone and asked them to come to Hassan. Meanwhile I continued to enquire her about how and when she came out of her home. Slowly she revealed what had happened with her since December 19”, she said. The committee informed the incident to the police.

Ms. Madhura opined that the story of torturing father was only a ploy to get place in the child care home. “When we enquired her parents, they said they did not want to take her back,” she added. The victim has been kept in the child care home since then.

Superintendent of Police Amit Singh, at a press conference here on Friday said that Putta, Dayanand alias Daya, Madhu, Dileep alias Chinnu, Dileep, Mohan and Shekhar have been arrested. “All are residents of Hassan. Among them two are studying degree and three are autorickshaw drivers. They are all in the age group of 18-25 years. At least three-four people are still absconding,” he said.

The SP said that her parents had not filed any complaint with the police though she had gone missing since December 19. The medical examination of the victim was conducted on Friday as per the section 164 A of the CrPC.

Hassan Extension Police have registered an FIR under sections 366 (A) (Procuration of minor girl), 376 (Rape), 342 (Wrongful confinement) of IPC, clause 3 (XI) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocity), Act 1989, which deals with assault or use of force on any woman belonging to a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe with intent to dishonour or outrage her modesty, and the Protection of Child from Sexual Offences Act 2012.

The accused would be produced before court on Saturday, the SP added.

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