- The minor was pushed into flesh trade by her mother, who adopted her during lockdown
- According to sources, one of the accused is in London
- A total of 80 people, including six who are yet to be caught, are involved in this incident
Over 70 people were arrested for raping a 13-year-old in Andhra Pradesh over a period of eight months. The survivor from Guntur district was pushed into prostitution by a woman, who had adopted her after she lost her mother to Covid-19 last year.
According to police, the 74 people, who were arrested, include kingpins of a prostitution racket, pimps and customers. Guntur police are on the lookout for six other accused, one of whom is in London. As many as 35 prostitution rackets were among the arrested.
Additional Superintendent of Police K. Supraja said the girl was purchased by several gangs, who took her to various districts in Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring Telangana, where she was forced into prostitution. The victim was sent to different brothels in the two Telugu states.
The main accused in the case is Swarna Kumari, who had befriended the girl at a hospital, where the latter's mother was undergoing treatment for Covid-19 in June 2021. After the girl's mother died, Swarna Kumari took her away to look after her without her father's permission. The woman later forced the victim into prostitution.
The girl's father lodged a missing complaint with the police in August. The first arrest was made in January and since then the police intensified the investigation and during the last few days, the maximum number of accused were arrested.
The victim was rescued by the police two days ago. Several arrests were made after she narrated her ordeal to the police. Ten accused, including a B.Tech student, were arrested on Tuesday. Police have seized a car, 53 cell phones, three autorickshaws and three bikes in the case.
(With inputs from agencies.)