PATNA — Police in eastern India have arrested a school principal, two teachers and three students after a teenage girl blamed them and another 13 schoolmates for repeatedly raping her for the last seven months, police said July 7.
Police arrested the six after the girl named the 19 accused in a written complaint July 6, said police officer Har Kishore Rai.
Rai said the girl recorded her statement before a local court July 7 and the report of her medical examination was upcoming. He said police were looking for the 13 others accused in the complaint.
Violent crime against women has been on the rise in India despite tough laws that were enacted five years ago.
The girl, a ninth-grade student in Bihar state, said in her complaint that she was first raped in December by three schoolmates who took video of the attack, Rai said. He said the accused shared the video with some friends in the school, who blackmailed and raped the girl.
She was also blackmailed by two teachers who had obtained the video, Rai said.
He said the girl finally complained to the school principal, who instead of looking into the allegations, also sexually exploited her.
“The complaint points out that (the accused) blackmailed and repeatedly raped the girl,” Rai said. “We’ve formed a special team and an investigation has been started on a priority basis.”
The girl said she did not report the abuse immediately, “fearing society would ostracize” her, the English-language Hindustan Times newspaper reported.
Officials in Bihar estimate that at least 250 minors and women have been raped in the state in the first six months this year.
Violent crime against women has been on the rise in India despite tough laws that were enacted in 2013 following the December 2012 fatal gang rape of a student on a moving New Delhi bus.
Since then, there have been repeated protests and assurances by the authorities for the speedy trial of cases of sexual violence. But the scourge has continued in the country, where women are still often relegated to second-class citizenship.