Chikkamagaluru: The number of chargesheets submitted to the local court till date number 30 with 42 persons accused, in the sensational rape case of a 15-year old schoolgirl, reported in the Sringeri police station limits. The incident was reported to police in January 2020.
Police sources explained that they had to submit more number of chargesheets as the time, date, place, date of offence and even accused are different. The first charge sheet was submitted within 60 days of the reporting of the incident in January 2020. Subsequently, additional chargesheets were filed.
The school-going minor girl was staying with her aunt near a stone quarry. One miscreant violated her after making her nude video and blackmailing the victim. Later, the victim's aunt turned villain and allowed her exploitation for four months from September to January 2020. The accused persons charged with sexually exploiting her, shot videos and blackmailed her for sexual favours. Though aware of all these facts, the aunt is said to have turned a blind eye to the plight of the girl.
The incident took a new turn when local District Committee President Subramanya lodged a complaint after getting a tip-off from villagers about the incident in January 2020. After the complaint the victim was rescued and details of the accused obtained. The accused belonged to various political parties who wielded influence on the police.
The investigation was conducted by Additional Superintendent of Police Shruthi and 17 arrests were made in February, 2021. So far 42 accused have been rounded up and are in judicial custody. Sources said that more chargesheets will be filed in the case and efforts are on to arrest the remaining culprits who are at large.
The police are also suspecting it to be a case of human trafficking. The cases are being registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, Immoral Trafficking Act, Child Labour Act.