Four minors arrested by the Bandra police on charges of raping a nine-year-old girl had never threatened her into keeping the terrible secret from the authorities, police said. They had instead lured her with the promise of extra food.
“There is the possibility that food provided at these places is not enough for the children and hence anything extra is a treat. In her statement, the girl has clearly said that the boys never threatened her,” said a senior police officer from Bandra police station on condition of anonymity.
The police are finding it difficult to believe that boys aged between 10 and 14 could commit such a heinous offence. Another police officer said, “I am not sure the boys even know what rape means.”
The victim is a Class 1 student of the school run by the authorities on the premises of the home for destitute children in Bandra (West).
At least 350 students live at the home run by a leading missionary organisation, the police said.
The accused are students of Class 3, 4 and 5. Soon after their arrest they were sent to juvenile custody at the Dongri children’s home.
The incident reportedly occurred on March 3 when two of the four boys allegedly raped the girl. The next day the other two followed.
However, it was only on Sunday, more than a month later, that the incident came to light. During the interactive counselling session with the authorities of the home, the victim named the four boys and their crime.
The authorities immediately approached the police and lodged a complaint against the four boys. The victim and the accused were sent to Nagpada Police Hospital for a medical examination.
“We expect the medical report to reach us by Friday and only then will we be able to comment on whether the girl was raped or not,” said investigating officer Ramchandra Aher, inspector at Bandra police station.