Three men were arrested on Tuesday for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl in a bus near Tamil Nadu’s Salem district, PTI reported. The accused included the two drivers of the bus and the conductor.
According to the police, the girl had run away from her house on Monday following a fight with her parents. She boarded a local bus to village Omalur and sat on the bus for several hours as it made trips from Salem to Omalur and back. The drivers and the conductor then befriended her, said the police.
While Manivannan and Murugan took turns to drive the bus, the conductor, Perumal, allegedly raped her. The girl somehow managed to escape late at night and raised an alarm. Nearby villagers gathered and attacked the accused, The New Indian Express reported.
The three men were handed over to the Omalur Police and a case was registered against them under several sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. Since the teenager was Dalit, a case under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was also invoked, PTI reported. The three men were remanded to Salem Central Prison on Tuesday. The bus in which the girl was allegedly raped was also seized.
The girl is currently at a children’s home and is undergoing counselling, reported NDTV. Meanwhile, the police are on the lookout for another man who had allegedly raped her on multiple occasions. He, however, was not involved in Monday’s incident.