Thirty-three men have been allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl over the last eight months in Maharashtra’s Thane district, PTI reported on Thursday.
The matter came to light on Wednesday night when the girl approached the Manpada Police in Dombivli city.
Twenty-four suspects have been arrested and two minors have been detained in connection with the incident, Additional Commissioner of Police Dattatray Karale told The Times of India.
The offences were committed between January 29 and September 22, he added.
A special investigation team has been formed to probe the case.
The main accused person is a friend of the girl. He had allegedly raped her in January and made a video of the sexual assault.
“He started blackmailing her on the basis of that video,” said Karale. “Later on, his friends and acquaintances gang-raped her on at least four to five occasions at different places, including Dombivli, Badlapur, Murbad and Rabale [cities] in the [Thane] district.”
The accused have been booked multiple sections of the Indian Penal Code, including rape, as well as sections of the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Act.
The girl has been admitted to a government hospital in Kalwa city. She is in a stable condition, said Karale.
Former Maharashtra chief minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis said the government should act expeditiously on the matter and punish the culprits.