The Kerala police on Saturday arrested 11 people in connection with the gang-rape of two minor girls in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala.
The girls, studying in class 9 and 10, went missing during an arts festival in their school on December 4 and 5. Though the school administration and parents filed a missing complaint, the girls returned the next day and concocted a story. The parents believed their version of events but some of their classmates alerted the school after they noticed behavioral changes in them.
According to the police, both girls were taken to a vacant house by one of their acquaintances and raped. Later his friends also joined them. Their ordeal continued for two days.
“In a two-day ordeal, 11 persons harassed the girls. All of them are in custody now,” said a senior police officer of Adoor.
State home minister Ramesh Chennithala said the government would take strong action to prevent such incidents.
“It is a shocking incident. It all started with a missing call and ended in a most unfortunate incident,” he said, adding some of the accused were students of the same school.
Initially, girls were reluctant to open up, but the school authorities and parents sought the help of childline officials.
“According to our initial investigation, when they resisted, they were brutally assaulted by the accused. Their hands were tied and they were starved. A probe is on to find out if more persons are involved,” said the police officer.
The girls were later produced before a magistrate and moved to a safe location. A medical examination confirmed sexual assault.