Thiruvananthapuram: Seventeen men have been arrested and 30 cases registered under the POCSO Act for the rape of a minor girl in Kerala's Malappuram district.
The girl was also abused twice earlier.
The station house officer of Pandikkad police station, Mohammed Haneefa while speaking to IANS, said: "There are a total of 30 cases under Pandikkad, Karuvarakkundu and Vandoor stations in Malappuram district on sexual abuse and assault of the minor girl".
The officer said, "16 cases are at Pandikkad, 13 at Karuvarakkundu, 1 at Vandoor. 16 people have been arrested in Pandikkad and 1 at Vandoor".
The girl who is now 17 years old, was earlier abused four years ago when she was just 13 years old and she was lodged at Nirbhaya home since 2016. Again she was subjected to sexual abuse in 2017 when she started staying with her relatives.
The issue came to light when she went missing from the home where she was living with her brother and his wife. Her father is no more and her mother has a disability.
Malappuram Child Welfare Committee (CWC) chairperson Shajesh Bhasker said "The girl has been again released to her relatives as there was no allegation against any of them. All the accused are outsiders."
The case is being investigated by a police team led by Perinthalmanna Deputy SP with Circle Inspectors of Pandikkad, Vandoor and Karuvarakkundu police stations.
There are 44 accused in the cases of sexual abuse which had taken place over a span of four years.