A 17-year-old girl, who ran away after a fight with her parents, was taken to a poultry farm in Odisha’s Cuttack by a man who offered to drop her home in his motorcycle and allegedly gang-raped over 22 days, police said on Wednesday. A native of Tirtol in the neighbouring Jagatsinghpur district, the girl had run away from home after a fight with her parents last month, they said.
While she was waiting to board a bus at the OMP Square in Cuttack to return home, a man offered to drop her home in his motorcycle, the girl told the district Child Welfare Committee. But instead of going to Tirtol, the youth took her to the poultry farm in the Gatiroutpatna village in the Chauliaganj police station area and kept her confined to a room forcefully for 22 days, she said.
Two men then raped her repeatedly at the farm, she added. The girl was rescued during the day as the farm was raided after locals tipped-off the police, suspecting some wrongdoing in the compound, officials said.
One of the accused was also arrested and efforts are on to nab the other one, a police official said. “A police team has been formed to apprehend the absconding friend of the accused,” said Cuttack city Deputy Commissioner of Police Prateek Singh.
She was later produced before the district Child Welfare Committee (CWC) from where she has been sent to an orphanage, he said. A case has been filed under IPC sections 376(2)(c) and 376(2)(g) that relates to rape and gang rap, and section 34, which is slapped when a criminal act is done by several persons.
The incident drew sharp criticism from different quarters with the opposition BJP and Congress launching a scathing attack on the BJD government in the state. BJP’s state general secretary Lekhashree Samantsinghar accused the Naveen Patnaik government of having failed to ensure the safety and security of women.
Noting that the girl hails from Tirtol where a by- election is scheduled to be held next month, she wondered as to how the ruling BJD will face the people in the constituency. Attacking the state government in the same vein, Congress spokesperson Nishikant Mishra said the gang rape showed that women in the state are not safe and secure at all.
Demanding assistance of Rs 25 lakh for the family of the girl, he said the incident should be investigated by the crime branch.