Seventeen men arrested for allegedly repeatedly raping an 11-year-old girl with a hearing disorder in Chennai were beaten up by lawyers when produced at a court in the city on Tuesday, The News Minute reported.
Video clips showed the lawyers assaulting the suspects at a mahila court. Chennai High Court Advocate Association President Mohana Krishnan said that “no lawyer” will argue their case, according to ANI.
As many as 22 men, including security guards, elevator operators and plumbers at an apartment complex in the city’s Purasawalkam area, had allegedly raped the child for over seven months, The Times of India reported the police as saying.
The arrested suspects have been sent to judicial custody till July 31.
The men allegedly sedated the child with injections, spiked soft drinks, and a powder that they made her sniff, before raping her and taking videos of the act. They threatened to release the videos and warned the child of more violence if she reported the crime.
“This continued till the girl on Saturday told her elder sister, a college student on a visit home from Delhi, about the trauma she was going through,” an unidentified investigating officer said. “The sister informed their parents, who filed a complaint with the All Women Police Station in Ayanavaram.”
The complainant told the police that Ravi, a 66-year-old elevator operator, first sexually assaulted her over seven months ago. Three days later, he allegedly brought some intoxicated men with him, who raped her and videographed the act. Other men soon joined in, raping the child repeatedly, the complainant said.
“Ravi would lead away the child as soon as she alighted from her school van to the basement, public washrooms, the terrace and gym, where he and his accomplices raped her,” the officer said. “Many of the flats were vacant so the suspects had little hindrance while committing the crime.”
Those arrested so far are all employees of the same security firm in Chennai. “Three men confessed to their crime. We have detained 15 others and are conducting inquiries,” a senior police officer said, according to The New Indian Express.