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13-year-old ‘raped’ in moving taxi

A 13-year-old girl was allegedly raped in a moving taxi in the city and dumped near her Ripon Street shanty late on Sunday.

The main accused, Mohammad Anwar, 35, has been arrested. Police are looking for two others, including the driver. Anwar works in a roadside eatery.

The police said preliminary reports of a medical test on the teenager proved that she had been raped.

A case of gang-rape has been started as the law states that if a person is raped in front of others who do not try to prevent the crime, each of the witness will be charged under IPC Section 376D (gang rape). If proved guilty, Anwar and others will be jailed for a term varying between 20 years and life.

A woman in her mid-30s, who was offered a lift in front of a nightclub on Park Street, was allegedly assaulted and gang-raped in a moving car in February 2012. The woman said in her complaint that she had been thrown off the car near Rabindra Sadan.

Three accused were arrested days after the alleged incident but two others, including key accused Kadir Khan, are still at large.

The police said the 13-year-old was walking down Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road around 11pm on Sunday when Anwar called her from a taxi and offered her food.

“The girl spends the night at a shelter run by an NGO on Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road and lives with her mother at a shanty on Ripon Street during the day,” said Pallab Kanti Ghosh, joint commissioner of police, crime.

Anwar, according to the complaint lodged by the girl’s mother with Park Street police station, was in the rear seat of the taxi with another man when he called the girl.

“It appears the girl knew Anwar as the eatery where he worked is close to the NGO home. The girl went near the taxi and she was alleged offered some food,” said an officer of the police station. “The girl boarded the taxi and started eating.”

Anwar then allegedly asked the cabbie to drive on. “The window panes were rolled up. Anwar first touched my daughter. When she tried to resist, he overpowered and raped her. The taxi was moving all along. She was dumped on Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road, near the spot from where she had boarded the taxi,” the complainant stated.

The girl returned to her mother around 3.30am on Monday.

“When I asked her why she returned from the NGO’s shelter at night, she kept silent. Sensing something was wrong I took her to the shelter and learnt that she did not go there the previous night. She narrated her plight after repeated prodding,” an officer said quoting the mother.

Joint police commissioner Ghosh said the driver and the other youth were known to Anwar.

“We are trying to get details of the two others. We hope they would be tracked down shortly,” he said.