The second accused in the gang- rape case of a minor girl in Odisha’s Cuttack district was arrested on Thursday, a senior police officer said.
Two men had allegedly held a 17-year-old girl captive at a poultry farm for 22 days and raped her in turns. She was rescued after some locals tipped off the police.
One of the accused was held shortly after, following a police raid, and the other was arrested during the day.
“The two accused are residents of Gatiroutpatna village in Chauliaganj police station area. Their criminal antecedents are being verified,” City DCP Prateek Singh said.
He also said that the involvement of a third or a fourth person cannot be ruled out in the case.
One of the arrestees had apparently offered a lift on his motorcycle to the teenager, who was waiting at a bus stand, but instead of taking her home, he kidnapped her.
The girl, in her statement, said the two men repeatedly raped her.
The incident, after coming to light, triggered a statewide uproar and evoked sharp criticism from different quarters, with the opposition BJP and the Congress launching a scathing attack on the BJD government for its alleged failure to ensure women’s safety.
Netizens took to Twitter to condemn the incident, with #22DaysofHorror trending on the platform earlier in the day.
Meanwhile, the chairperson of the State Commission for Women, Minati Behera, met the teenager, who is currently putting up at an orphanage here, and assured her that district legal services authority would be approached for compensation.
The Congress, on its part, moved the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) on Thursday, seeking its intervention for ensuring financial and legal aid for the family of the rape survivor. The party also urged the commission to take necessary steps for handing over the investigation to the crime branch of the state police.