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Brutal gang rape of 17-year-old in Visakhapatnam: 11 held, manhunt for remaining suspects continues

The young girl had relocated to Visakhapatnam from Odisha around nine months ago. Her disappearance on December 17 prompted her father to file a missing person's report in Visakhapatnam a day later.

Brutal gang rape of 17-year-old in Visakhapatnam: 11 held, manhunt for remaining suspects continues AJR
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First Published Jan 3, 2024, 2:06 PM IST

In a horrifying development, authorities reported the gang rape of a 17-year-old girl from Odisha, employed as domestic help in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The police disclosed that a group of 13 individuals allegedly assaulted her, resulting in the arrest of 11 individuals in connection with the crime. On Tuesday (January 2), the apprehended suspects were remanded to judicial custody until January 12, while efforts persist to locate the remaining two accused.

In a statement, the Andhra Pradesh Police said, "A minor girl was gang raped by her boyfriend and his friend, and when she tried to end her life in RK Beach, she was approached by photographers who raped her for days before dropping her in Odisha. As soon as the incident came to light, the police department arrested all the accused, except two."

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The young girl had relocated to Visakhapatnam from Odisha around nine months ago. Her disappearance on December 17 prompted her father to file a missing person's report in Visakhapatnam a day later.

Later, on December 23, the Odisha Police contacted the girl's father about her location. Accompanied by the police team, her father retrieved her from Odisha and returned to Visakhapatnam on December 25.

Struggling with severe emotional distress, the girl confided in her parents about the harrowing incident on December 31. Subsequently, the police took her statement, uncovering the distressing account of her being sexually assaulted by 13 individuals at various lodges on different occasions.

"When the police asked her parents to bring her the next day for questioning, they didn't turn up and the victim didn't reveal any information regarding the incident even after they went to her house. But she came to the station on December 31 along with her parents and disclosed that she went with her friend Imran (from Jharkhand) and his friend Shoaib on her birthday when she was forced to have intercourse with them in a lodge near RK Beach. Later, the duo dropped the girl at her workplace in the morning," the statement read.

The girl encountered a group of photographers - Raju, Harish, Nagendra, and Gopi - at the beach, who posed as supporters, offering her "moral strength." They lured her to a lodge and subjected her to a gang rape, as detailed by the police.

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Further investigations revealed that six additional individuals - Srinu, Ashok, Naresh, Thambe, Eswar, and Praveen - joined in assaulting her until December 22.

The ordeal culminated on December 23 when one of the culprits dropped her near an Odisha police station with a mere Rs 200 in hand. Eventually, the police provided her shelter and informed her parents of her whereabouts.

Charges were filed by the police under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and other pertinent sections. Following an extensive operation with teams deployed in Jharkhand and various locations in Visakhapatnam, law enforcement managed to apprehend 11 individuals involved.

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