Malappuram (Kerala) [India], January 19 (ANI): Thirty-two cases have been registered against 44 men on charges of rape and molestation of a 17-year-old girl in the Pandikkad region of Malappuram district, police said on Monday.
20 persons have been arrested in connection with the case so far, Pandikad police said.
The survivor is currently in the protection of the state government's Child Welfare Committee.
Deputy Superintendent of Police PP Shams said that the victim was sexually abused in 2016 and again in 2017. He added that this is the third time she has faced sexual abuse.
"The victim had given 164 statements before the magistrate that she was sexually abused for the third time. She was sexually abused in 2016 and 2017 since she was 13 years old. After the incident, she was at Nirbhaya shelter home. Later, she was sent to her relatives where she faced sexual assault the third time," Shams told reporters here.
"There are a total of 44 suspects. Seven cases are grave. All the suspects in the grave crimes have been arrested. In the remaining cases, that were recently reported, suspects are yet to be arrested. We have arrested a total of 20 persons," he added.
Shajesh Basker, a member of the Child Welfare Committee said that they are monitoring police investigation in the case.
"Many people from a particular area were involved in this case. We suspect any personal revenge or vested interests were behind it. Now the child is in our protection. No one can influence or threaten her. Further proceedings will be completely in accordance with the law. We are monitoring police investigation too,' he said. (ANI)