A day after ‘gangrape’, Surat cops arrest 8 youths

The city police on Thursday arrested eight youths in connection with the alleged gangrape of a 23-year-old woman in Pandesara area a day earlier.

The arrested were identified as Ganesh Sahebrao Sonavne (23), Nana Sitaram Parmeshwar (22), Vijay Dhivre (21), Rajesh Pundalik (24), Govinda Bhagwan Sirsath (22), Krishna Damu Mahale (20), Balram Devraj Jayna (20) and Ajay Raju Dodish (19), all resident of Nagsennagar in Pandesara area. Police have made separate teams to arrest two other absconding suspects.

Police also reconstructed the incident with the help of an eye-witness and the victim herself. "We took the rape victim to the spot where the incident had taken place and collected some samples, which have been sent to the forensic laboratory for examination," said Inspector A B Vataliya.

He said that since it was dark when the incident happened, "the girl could not properly see the accused when they threatened and beat her".

The eye-witness, Yasmin, who is also the victim's friend, told The Indian Express at the Pandesara police station that the victim called her from her cellphone around 2 am on Wednesday pleading for help. "The rapists snatched away the phone from her and stripped her completely. She ran naked on the streets shouting for help but none came," said Yasmin.

The victim, who has a three-year-old son suffering from tuberculosis, lives in Muglisara in Surat. She had told the police that a dozen men had raped her in Bamroli area of Pandesara early Wednesday morning.

The incident came to light on Wednesday evening when she approached police with the help of an NGO.

The victim was taken to New Civil Hospital for treatment. Later, police registered a case of rape against 10 youths.

Sources said the victim, who hails from Buldhana district in Maharashtra, had been living in Muglisara for the last four years after her marriage. Two years ago, her husband divorced her. "She started doing odd jobs as house maid, but did not earn enough to run her household, after which she became a sex worker," said Yasmin, who is also her neighbour.

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