Palghar rape case: Maharashtra women's commission demands strict action against culprits
According to a police official, the accused, including a friend of the girl, allegedly raped the teen at an unoccupied bungalow in the beach village before taking her to the seashore and sexually assaulting her again.
The Maharashtra State Commission for Women, chairperson Rupali Chakankar has taken suo motu cognisance of the alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl by eight men in a village in Palghar district and directed police to take strict action against the culprits.
The incident occurred between the intervening night of Friday and Saturday. According to a police official, the accused, including the girl's friend, allegedly raped her at an unoccupied bungalow in the beach village before taking her to the seashore and sexually assaulting her again.
After the victim's complaint, the police immediately arrested all eight accused on Sunday. They registered a case against them under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 376 (D) (gang-rape), 366 (A) (procuration of minor girl), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), and sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
In a video message, Chakankar said that the commission learned about the incident via social media and has taken suo motu (on its own) cognisance of the matter.
The panel's chairperson has directed the Palghar district Police Superintendent to take strict action against the arrest accused.
Chakankar said she spoke with the police chief and obtained detailed information about the matter.
The culprits will face harsh punishment, she continued, adding that the commission makes every effort to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.
The commission counsels girls in schools and colleges and informs them about the benefits and drawbacks of using social media through the 'Damini squad' (women-specific police cells). She advised that one should confirm their credentials before befriending someone on social media.
In its official release on Sunday, Palgahr police said that her parents searched for her when the girl did not reach home on Saturday. She kept crying when they called her. They later approached the police, who tracked down the girl.
The arrested suspects have been remanded in police custody until December 22, according to the police.
(With inputs from PTI)