Ten minors were arrested in Mumbai on Tuesday on charges of sexually assaulting and blackmailing their 12-year-old classmate.
The incident reportedly came to light last week, when the victim's mother, who is a widow and works as a house help, found ₹700 in her son's pocket. On being questioned by his mother about the money, the minor broke down and revealed to her the horror he has been living through over the past few months.
According to an Andheri police official's statement in the Hindu, the victim told his mother that about 7-8 months ago, two boys from the same locality cornered him while he was playing and forced themselves on him. A few days later, some of the suspects' friends also joined in the heinous crime and sexually exploited him.
"These classmates first recorded the sexual assault on me after taking me forcefully to an isolated spot in Andheri (East). They took turns to assault me and record the act," the Times Of India quoted the boy as saying.
Upon investigating the matter, the police discovered that his exploiters also blackmailed the victim and extorted money from him. A police officer at Andheri police station told the Hindu, "Over a period of time, the accused started demanding money from him, and with no other option, the victim started stealing whatever money he could lay his hands on in his house and give it to the accused."
All the accused have been booked under the Indian Penal Code section 377 (unnatural offence) and sections 8 and 12 of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offence (POCSO) Act for penetrative sexual assault and sexual harassment, and have been sent to the Juvenile Detention Centre in Dongri.
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