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Minor was raped in van that ferried school kids

The three men who allegedly raped 12-year-old were trying to gain her trust for the last three days, report Avishek G Dastidar and Ravi Bajpai.
Hindustan Times | By Avishek G Dastidar/Ravi Bajpai, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 04, 2008 01:42 AM IST

The three men who allegedly raped 12-year-old Pooja (name changed) were trying to gain her trust for the last three days.

The accused - Raju Porwal (23), Manmohan and Rakesh - are Pooja's neighbours. Pooja told Hindustan Times that she knew Raju, but that she was not very well acquainted with the other two accused. Pooja studies in Class VI at a government school. Her father is a cloth dealer.

Raju is a trader and Rakesh works as his driver. Manmohan ferries children to school in his Maruti van, the car in which the victim was taken on the fateful day.

Pooja said her parents had gone to Etah three days ago to attend a relative's wedding. She was living with her two sisters at her house in Khyala. Pooja said 12-year-old Seema (name changed), her neighbour, facilitated her meeting with the accused.

Pooja had in fact accompanied Seema and the accused on joy rides thrice since March 31.

"On the first day, they took me to the nearby Ganga Ram vatika. I did not suspect anything since Seema was with me. The next day, they took me out on the pretext of collecting Seema's report card," said Pooja.

On Wednesday, the joy ride turned sour. Pooja said Seema, Manmohan, Rakesh and Raju took her out on the pretext of buying books. "They took me to a lonely spot and parked the car there. Seema suddenly left on some excuse. The three then raped me inside the car," said Pooja. Pooja then took a bus to return to her house.

Her mother said one of Pooja's sisters called her and asked her to return home immediately. "She told me that Pooja had been going out for late night drives with a few people. I came back only to find her in hospital," said Pooja's mother.

Police had not taken Pooja's statement till late Thursday. "She is under treatment. The name of Raju Porwal has come through as an accused and he has been arrested. The other two are being questioned. We will proceed further only after speaking to the victim," said Sharad Aggarwal, DCP (west).

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