Eight men were arrested between March 12 and 13 for allegedly gang-raping a 14-year-old Muslim girl in Dholka city of Ahmedabad district in Gujarat on March 10, said the police.
Wasim Abbasi, the girl’s advocate, said that one of the accused persons has been identified as Shivaji Thakore, the son of Narmadaben Thakore, a former Bharatiya Janata Party councillor from Dholka ward number nine.
Dholka police inspector ND Chaudhary confirmed the same. A first information report was registered on March 11 against the eight suspects.
They were arrested under sections of the Indian Penal Code pertaining to kidnapping, and rape, and under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act for aggravated sexual assault and repeated penetrative sexual assault on a child.
Abbasi told Scroll.in that ten men were allegedly involved in the gang rape, while Chaudhary said that there were eight of them. Chaudhary said that the eight suspects are aged between 19 and 30, based on what the minor said, as well as the investigation of mobile phone records.
A local court on Sunday remanded the eight accused persons to judicial custody and rejected the prosecution’s demand for three-day police custody. “We had sought three-day police custody, but the court did not feel there was a need,” said Chaudhary.
When asked if this would hamper the investigation, Chaudhary said there was no need to probe further as all the accused had been arrested.
“The police are trying to protect the remaining two,” Abbasi told Scroll.in. The lawyer said that the girl had told the police as well that there were 10 people involved.
“However, we are waiting for her 164 statements (statement recorded in front of a magistrate under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Code) to be recorded, where she will mention the fact that there were ten and not eight people,” said Abbasi.
Abbasi told Scroll.in that the girl was going home around 9.30 pm when two men on two motorcycles approached her, saying that a man she was acquainted with wanted to meet her.
“She did not know them but knew the person they wanted her to meet,” said Abbasi. “They were in the same school years ago.”
According to Abbasi, the men kept insisting that the girl come along. She was first taken to a temple close by and then to a field where ten people raped her, alleged Abbasi.
They told her that even if she were to scream, no one would hear her, said Abbasi. “They threatened to throw her into the well if she opened her mouth,” he said.