Five men arrested in Kerala’s northern district of Kannur for raping and sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl. The father of the minor is also among those under custody after police registered a case of gang-rape on a complaint filed by the girl’s mother.

According to sources, “The minor has been sexually abused and raped multiple times on different occasions, including by her own father. Her father is in the custody of the police.”

Police have filed 15 cases, of which three pertain to gang rape. It is suspected that around 20 persons are involved in the crime and some of these abuses have taken place outside the district.

It has also been revealed that the girl in question had been continually sexually assaulted since 2015, when she was in class 8, by her father.

The criminal cases have been registered in 5 different police stations across Kerala in this case.

The girl studies in Class X at a local school. Thaliparamba DSP K V Venugopal said those arrested were K V Sandeep, C P Shamsudheen, V C Shabeer, K V Ayyoob and K Pavithran, all residents of the district. Pavithran is the receptionist of the lodge where the crime was committed.

The gang members had called the girl’s brother to Shoranur railway station the other day and tried to extort money from him. They showed him the photographs, following which there was an altercation and they thrashed him. He talked to his sister later and they approached police.

They were charged under sections 366(a) (pro-curation of a minor girl), 354(b) (use of criminal force to disrobe a woman), 376(2)f, 376(2)(i) and 376(d) (gang rape of a woman) of the IPC, in addition to section 8 read with 7, and section 6 read with 5(g) of the The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, which deal with sexual assault and aggravated penetrative sexual assault of minors. They will be produced before the Taliparambu District Magistrate by Thursday evening.

A separate case has been registered on Thursday morning by the Valapattanam police station against the father of the child.

This incident appears to be a prime example of sexual grooming and re-victimisation, said a psychologist who did not want to be named.

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