Police in Meghalaya have arrested seven minors, aged between 11 and 16 years, on charges of raping a 10-year-old girl.
The accused reportedly raped the victim twice—once before Christmas and again on January 13---in Mawten, a remote village located in South West Khasi Hills district.
“All the accused and the victim belong to the same village. They were arrested after the girl told her family about the rapes recently and her father lodged an FIR on Saturday,” Herbert G Lyngdoh, SP, SWGH told Hindustan Times.
According to the police, all the accused have admitted their involvement in the crime. They have been sent to a juvenile home in Shillong.
“A case of rape under provisions of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act has been registered and further investigation is underday,” said Lyngdoh.
The victim, who is reported to be stable, has been sent for medical examination and counselling.
Meghalaya, which is known for its matrilineal society, has been witnessing a number of crimes against women and children in recent months. This month alone five such cases have been lodged across the state.
Earlier this month, Independent MLA Julius Kitbok Dorphang was arrested for raping a 14-year-old twice. Over a dozen accused have been arrested in the case till date on charges of rape and trafficking of the minor.
Six persons were arrested this month for raping a 17-year old in East Khasi Hills district. Three others were arrested from SWKH district for raping a 13-year-old. Both incidents took place on January 1.
Police records show that number of registered rape cases have increased from 26 in 2001 to a high of 183 in 2013. Last year 84 cases of rape were reported from across the state.
Cases of molestation and sexual harassment have also increased from 25 in 2001 to 128 in 2014.