A man allegedly raped a 15-year-old girl in Punjab’s Hoshiarpur, PTI reported on Monday. The accused, identified as Arun Kumar, has been arrested under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, said Sadar police station Sub-Inspector Neelam Kumari.
Kumar gagged the girl when was alone at home and took her to a nearby place where he raped her, said the police. The accused fled after the victim’s mother reached the spot after hearing her screams.
The incident took place at Manan village on October 24. The complaint was lodged on Sunday night, said police.
The girl used to work in a brick kiln in Naru Nangal. Both the accused and girl are migrant labourers. The girl lived at labour quarters with her parents while the accused lived nearby.
This is second rape incident in Hoshiarpur in the recent past. Last week, a six-year-old Dalit girl was raped and her half-burnt body was recovered from their house at Jalalpur village in Tanda in Punjab. A man and his grandfather have been arrested.
However, the incident snowballed into a political blame game with Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, including Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Prakash Javadekar, targeting Congress leaders Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi. Sitharaman said the Congress leader visit “every other place that can help them politically.” Punjab is a Congress-ruled state.
Sitharaman was taking a swipe at Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi’s visit to Hathras in Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Uttar Pradesh, where a 19-year-old woman was raped and later died of her injuries last month. The incident had led to massive protests by Opposition political parties.
But Punjab Chief Minister lashed out at Sitharaman and Javadekar for their comments, calling it “political puffery. Singh said that contrary to what these leaders were claiming, there was no comparison between the Hoshiarpur and the Hathras cases.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also hit back at the BJP, saying that the Punjab government was not denying the allegations of rape.