The Kerala Police arrested a local leader of the Democratic Youth Federation of India and 11 others in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a schoolgirl in Kannur district, PTI reported. The girl’s father was also among those arrested, an unidentified police official said on Friday.

The Democratic Youth Federation of India is the youth wing of the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist). The arrested leader was identified as Nikhil Mohanan, secretary of a party unit from Thaliyil in Kannur, The News Minute reported.

“Sixteen FIRs [First Information Reports] have been lodged in five different police stations... we believe there are over 20 accused,” said Kannur Superintendent of Police Shiv Vikram. “We are questioning more people.”

The girl is a student of class 10 and the accused got in touch with her last month by creating a fake profile on social media. On November 19, she was taken to a lodge in Parasinikadavu town and allegedly sexually assaulted by four people, said the police. The lodge manager was also arrested for failing to inform the police.

While five men, including the manager, were arrested on Wednesday, the others were held on Thursday, The Times of India reported.

The incident came to light last week after one of the accused called the girl’s brother and demanded Rs 50,000. He also threatened to share the girl’s images on social media. According to the police, when the brother confronted the caller in Palakkad, he was allegedly beaten up.

The girl’s mother and brother had registered a police complaint and based on her statement, the police lodged the first FIR and filed a case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Democratic Youth Federation of India’s Kannur District Secretary Sanoj VK said that Mohanan was no longer with the party.