In an incident that should shame humanity, a 15-year-old girl was forcibly confined in a farm pit for over three weeks in November and raped repeatedly by a teenager at Kotda Nayani village of Morbi district in Gujarat, police said.
The teenager, who was allegedly kidnapped, was freed earlier this month.
According to a police official of Wankaner taluka police station, a case of rape, kidnapping and illegal confinement was registered against 19-year-old Naresh Solanki, while seven others belonging to his family were booked under charges of kidnapping and illegal confinement.
The alleged motive of the crime was forced marriage.
The family of the accused wanted the family of the victim to marry her to Solanki as they both belong to the same caste of 'Devipujaks'. When the latter refused, they planned the kidnapping of the girl, police said.
The victim was kidnapped on November 11 and taken to a farmland some two kilometres from the village. There she was forced to live in an 8x8 feet pit covered on top with a wooden plank so as to avoid her detection.
The victim was raped repeatedly for over three weeks before she was freed by her father and others in the village on December 4.
The girl, in her statement to police, said that she was kidnapped by eight persons late night on November 11 and taken to a farmland in an autorickshaw where she was forced to live in a 8x8 feet pit dug in the farm.
As per the girl's statement, she was confined in the pit and was taken out only to be raped by accused Naresh.
The girl's father lodged a case of kidnapping against unknown persons on November 25.
After intense search, the girl was finally found on December 4, the official said, adding that based on her statement, police lodged a case against the eight accused who were subsequently arrested.
The eight persons including Naresh, his brother Haresh, father Janantbhai Solanki and his grandfather Chaturbhai Solanki, are currently lodged in Rajkot central jail, they said.
Other than sections 363 (kidnapping) and 366 (abduction of woman to compel her into marriage) of the Indian Penal Code registered against unknown accused in the November 25 FIR, police have also added sections 376 (rape) against Naresh along with relevant sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
(With PTI inputs)