Four minors have been detained on charges of gangraping a 15-year-old girl in Mumbai and circulating a video of the assault on WhatsApp, a crime that came to light after the victim’s aunt stumbled upon a clip of the incident on her phone.
The rape took place on November 8 in northern Mumbai’s Malad (West) neighbourhood but the girl did not tell anyone about it after the accused shot a video of the crime and threatened her of dire consequences.
The girl’s aunt saw the video on Wednesday night after it went viral. She immediately alerted the police and gave the video to them, Shashikant Sandbhor, senior police inspector at Malad police station, said.
“We immediately filed an FIR and sent a team to nab the minors. All the four have been sent to remand home for juveniles as they are minors,” he added.
Police officials said the girl is a Class 10 student and she and the four accused live in the same locality.
Police have registered a case under relevant sections of protection of children from sexual offences (POCSO) act and rape under the Indian Penal code.
Under Indian laws, juveniles can only be given a maximum sentence of three years and be lodged in a reform home, not a prison – a clause that many say is too lenient.
This is the latest in a string of sexual assault cases across the country involving juveniles and is likely to add to an ongoing debate on whether the age limit should be lowered for heinous crimes like rape and murder.