Kochi: The Kerala Police have arrested three migrant workers over the gang-rape of a 14-year-old girl at Manjummel in Ernakulam district.
The girl was allegedly gang-raped by six people, all migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh, on multiple occasions since March this year.
The arrested were Uttar Pradesh natives Shahid, 24, Farhad Khan, 29, and Haneefa, 28. A man hunt has been launched to nab the other three accused, who have left for the northern state after committing the crime.
The accused migrant workers lived near the girl's house. The first instance of assault was in March after the COVID-19 lockdown was imposed. The culprits sexually assaulted the girl at her house while her family was out.
She was then threatened and taken to various other places, including the workers’ place of residence. The minor girl was also assaulted at Edappally on July 30 and Kunumpuram in August.
She was subjected to continuous 'sexual assault' by the accused at various places between March and August, police said.
The girl's mother is no more while her father is working in Delhi. The victim was staying with her aged grand parents. The accused exploited this situation and raped her.
Meanwhile, it was found that the girl, an eighth standard student, is one-and-a-half months pregnant. A medical check-up was done after she disclosed the abuse during a counselling session during the treatment for depression. The doctor who conducted the counselling informed the police of the abuse.
The Eloor police registered a case after the girl's family filed a complaint.
Deputy Commissioner of Kochi, G Poonguzhali, supervising the investigation, said the accused have been booked under various sections of IPC including 376 (punishment for rape) and POCSO Act.
Kalamassery MLA V K Ibrahim Kunju shot off a letter to DGP Loknath Behera on Tuesday seeking stringent action against the accused.
Activists of Bharatiya Mahila Morcha organised a protest in Manjummel on Tuesday demanding the arrest of all accused involved in the crime.