In an outrageous case of gang-rape in Maharashtra, an 18-year old tribal student of the 12 standard was raped right outside her hostel in broad day-light by five youths in Nashik’s tribal taluka of Surgana. While the incident happened on December 23, the first information report was registered at Surgana police station only on Thursday morning, police said.

The victim’s family has alleged that they were pressurised not to register a complaint.

The police have arrested all the five accused in the case. All of them are local tribals from Palsan village. Officials refused to divulge their names and said their identities will be revealed only after the identification parade is conducted.

“We have registered a case under Sections 376 (rape), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation),” a police official told The Hindu.

“According to the complainant, the incident took place right outside her ashramshala, (residential school for tribal students) in a jungle behind the hostel. On Sunday afternoon, at around 4 p.m., she went there with a friend to relieve herself. At that time, these five men nabbed them. While the victim’s friend successfully ran away, the victim was unable to do so. Of the five, two persons raped her while the remaining three shielded them,” Praveenkumar Padwal, Superintendent of Police, Nashik (rural), told The Hindu.

Of the five, one is a minor who is under police detention. The other four have been arrested. One is 24-year-old and three are 18-years-old. All of them threatened to kill her if she talked about it to anyone, she said in her complaint.

Police said that while two of the accused raped her, the others held her so that she could not run away. They continuously slapped, abused and threatened her to not talk about the incident. It is not known why the victim’s friend, did not inform the school authorities.

Questions are being raised on why the school authorities failed to register a complaint with the police.

That evening, the victim returned to her village with her father and later told about the incident to her family members who finally decided to register a complaint.

Police sources said according to preliminary medical examination, rape has been established. The victim is hospitalised in Nashik’s civil hospital where she has been medically examined and counselled. Her condition is reported to be stable.

Mr. Padwal said all the accused have confessed to their crime. “The two accused who raped the girl have confessed that they committed the crime. The others have confessed to aiding them,” he said.

Palsan, a tribal village near the Maharashtra-Gujarat border, is about 18 kilometers away from Surgana taluka in Nashik district. According to local sources, there are only 16 toilets for 550 students staying in the residential school there. This prompts many students to leave the campus to relieve themselves.