Three persons were arrested on Sunday for gangraping a minor Dalit girl in front of her boyfriend in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur, PTI reported.
The accused also assaulted the girl’s 17-year-old boyfriend before taking turns to rape her. They have been identified as Samandar Singh Bhati, Dharampal Singh and Bhattam Singh.
According to the police, the couple had eloped from Ajmer on Saturday and arrived in Jodhpur by bus around 10.30 pm.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Amrita Duhan said that the couple initially went to a guest house but left after the manager misbehaved with the girl, according to the Hindustan Times.
“The minors could not find a place to stay so they were walking on the road when three men approached them near Pawata Circle and offered to help them,” Duhan added.
At around 4 am on Sunday, the accused persons tricked them into going to the hockey ground at the old campus of Jai Narain Vyas University by telling them they would take them to the railway station.
“They held the boy hostage and gangraped the girl,” Duhan said, according to The Indian Express. “Around 5 am, when people reached the area for a morning walk, the men ran away.”
Based on a complaint filed by the girl, the police registered a first information report under Section 376(g) (gang rape) of the Indian Penal Code and other sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
The police said that the accused were tracked down through CCTV footage to a house in the Ganeshpura area in the city. They tried to escape but were arrested by the police.
The manager of the guesthouse was also arrested for harassing the girl, according to NDTV.
The police claimed that the accused are residents of Barmer and Osian and were in Jodhpur to campaign for a candidate of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad – the students’ wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, according to The Indian Express.
The ABVP, however, refuted the charges saying that it was an attempt to tarnish their image.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party, saying that there have been reports of its leaders being involved in rape cases in Jodhpur and Datia in Madhya Pradesh.
“Due to such incidents, the nature, character and face of BJP has been exposed,” he wrote in a tweet.