The police arrested eight people on the charge of gang-rape of a minor Dalit girl recently. While four accused are known to the victim, the other four accused are strangers, the police said.

According to the complaint, the main accused 19-year-old Umesh Kangude on the pretext of attending a function in the neighbourhood village took the victim, a 16-year-old Dalit girl to the nearby Dedar Gaon dam and gang-raped her along with his friends.

“The boys had planned to rape the girl and therefore under the pretext of visiting their relatives in the neighbouring village took her to an isolated spot near the dam and took turns in raping her,” said Chandrakant Gavali, the investigating officer of the case.

The boy photographed the girl and threatened to upload the clip on the Internet if she dared to complain to anyone.

They then abandoned the girl and left. The ordeal of the girl did not end there. While the victim was returning home she was stopped by a bunch of labourers who witnessed the girl being raped by the men and they also took turns in raping her.

The case came to light when the police were interrogating some labourers who were picked up in connection with a dacoity case.

“A dacoity took place on September 28 and therefore we had detained these labourers in connection with the case. They narrated the story during the interrogation. We checked our records but there was no case registered but since the girl was threatened we suspected she won’t come forward. We then activated our Mohalla community network who told us that the boys visited the spot on September 24.. We rounded up the boys and cracked the case,” added Mr.Gavali. The girl narrated her ordeal only after she was counselled, the police said.

All the eight accused have been booked for gang-rape under various sections of the newly constituted the Protection of Children against sexual offences as (POCSA) Act and that of the Prevention of Atrocities Act. They have been remanded to police custody until October 5.