A 13-year-old mentally challenged girl was gang-raped by a poultry farm owner and his two servants in Cheropoli village near Bhatsanagar, Shahpur, police said. Shahpur is 90 km away from Mumbai.
A Cherapoli Katkari Wadi local, the girl was raped on Sunday afternoon when she went to collect flowers near Santosh Bhere’s poultry farm for the Ganpati puja.
The police have arrested one of the accused, identified as Dashrath Bhoye (25), while Bhere (21) and his other servant, Dilip (22) are still absconding.
According to Shahpur’s Deputy Superintendent of Police CC Devaraj, the victim was befriended by one of Bhere’s servants while she was collecting the flowers.
The servant first helped her and then led her to the poultry farm under the pretext of giving her more flowers. After they reached the farm, the accused locked the girl in a room and repeatedly raped her, police said. They then threw the victim, who had lost consciousness, outside the farm.
As the girl did not return home till evening, her parents and the villagers started a search for her and finally lodged a police complaint.
A day later, on Monday night, the villagers finally found the girl lying unconscious, without any clothes in the bushes near Bhere’s poultry farm. The victim’s parents, who rushed to the spot, were inconsolable and her mother fainted at the sight of her daughter.
The villagers informed the police and rushed the victim to a hospital.
The police sent a team to the hospital and another to the spot where the girl was found to nab the culprits. As the victim regained consciousness after being treated by the doctors, she narrated the incident to her mother in the presence of a woman police officer.
Following the victim’s testimony, a case of rape was registered against Bhere, Bhoye and Dilip.
“They will also be booked under the Atrocities Act as the girl belongs to a tribal community,” said Devraj.
This is the third incident of sexual abuse reported from Shahpur and its adjoining areas in the last two weeks.
Earlier, a special committee had found out that owner of the Adivasi Ashram Shala near Shenva village in Shahpur was sexually abusing girls from the shala.
In another incident near Vasind, a man had raped a woman from the tribal community after forcibly entering her home.