A 15-year-old girl told her mother that she was being gang-raped for the past two months by the son of her family’s landlord and his three friends in the Golabari area of Howrah.
Based on a complaint lodged by the Class VIII student, the landlord’s son, Mukesh Pandey, 19, and his friends — Sushil Chaudhari, 21, and Sunil Tiwari, 20 — have been arrested.
A search is on for the fourth accused — Gobinda Poddar, 22 — who police said was on a visit to his native village in Uttar Pradesh.
A medical examination of the girl at Howrah District Hospital has confirmed rape, said an officer.
The accused have been booked under IPC Section 376D (gang rape). If found guilty, they would be punished with rigorous imprisonment for 20 years to life.
“We have arrested three youths following a complaint of gang rape lodged by a minor. The complainant went through a medical test,” said Nishat Pervez, deputy commissioner of police (headquarters), Howrah commissionerate.
The girl’s statement has been recorded by a first class judicial magistrate at the Howrah court. The accused will be produced in court on Saturday.
The girl has said in her complaint that her family lived on the ground floor and the landlord’s family on the first floor of the house.
The assaults, she said, used to take place on the first-floor terrace in the afternoon when she would be alone. The girl’s father is a hawker and mother a help. Both her parents and her 19-year-old brother, who is unemployed, would be outdoors during the afternoon.
“The complaint says Mukesh had first raped her in early December when she had gone to the terrace to hang clothes out to dry. After raping her, he allegedly threatened to kill her and her father if she told anyone,” said an officer of Golabari police station.
Since then, the friends of Mukesh would regularly come to the house, forcefully take the teenager to the terrace and rape her, the complainant stated. They, too, allegedly threatened to kill her if she spoke out against them.
Police said neighbours got wind of the crime as the youths would mostly come in the afternoon and stay at the home for long.
On Thursday, her brother grew suspicious when he saw her coming down the stairs in a dishevelled state and asked their mother to talk to her. “The girl first did not say anything but later broke down and told her about the assault. She also told her mother about the threats,” said an officer.
The family went to a local club, where Mukesh was questioned and later thrashed by the members. The family then went to the police station.