14-Year-Old runaway allegedly gang-raped in bus; three arrested

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Tamil Nadu: In a case whose brutality is strikingly reminiscent of the Nirbhaya gang-rape, a runaway 14-year-old was allegedly gang-raped in a private bus by two drivers and a conductor in Tamil Nadu’s Salem district, on Monday.

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According to the police, this schoolgirl  had run away from her home in the Dalem district of Tamil Nadu, and had boarded the bus on Monday morning. For the next seven hours, she remained on the bus, as it made many to and fro trips from Salem to Omalur about 20 kilometres away. After the last trip,  the bus was parked in an isolated area about seven kilometres away from Omalur, and the crew allegedly sexually assaulted the teenager one after the other. Reports state that she had been threatened by the men to not get of the bus . She reported that the local people rescued her and handed over the men to the authorities, on hearing her screams after she had escaped, when the third man had assualted her sexually.

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The parents of the girl are daily wage labourers in Salem. Police say the girl, had run away from home twice earlier as well. A case has been registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and the Prevention of SC/ST Atrocities Act besides invoking provisions of kidnap, rape, intimidation and attempt to rape.

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