Manchar, 1st June 2023: A 22-year-old youth has been arrested by the Pune Rural Police in connection with allegedly kidnapping and raping a minor girl whith he had eloped.
In a contrasting stance, while BJP MLC Gopinath Padalkar referred to the incident as a case of “love jihad” and “forced conversion,” the police have clarified that the FIR registered at the time the girl went missing did not include any allegations of love jihad or forced conversion.
Police have applied section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other pertinent sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) to the case.
According to the police, the girl and boy had eloped in what appeared to be a love affair back in 2019 when the girl was just 16 years old.
According to police, in 2019, the girl ran away with the boy, and a registered a case under section 363 of the IPC based on a complaint from her family. About 15 days ago, the cops received information that they had returned to Manchar. Consequently, they were detained. The girl was handed over to her family, the boy was arrested.
Initially, the girl hesitated to undergo a medical examination, but eventually consented, leading to the inclusion of section 376 of the IPC and relevant sections of POCSO in the case.
The accused individual, identified as Javed Mukhtar Shaikh (22), was apprehended by the Pune Rural Police on May 17 and subsequently placed in judicial custody.
Padalkar recently conducted a press conference in Pune, joined by members of the girl’s family. During the conference, the girl’s family members asserted that she had been converted to Islam and misled by the accused. They claimed that the accused had taken her to various locations over the course of four years, only to return to their hometown in Manchar recently.
“The accused prevented the girl from contacting her family and even administered sleeping pills to her. The family made countless visits to the police station, but to no avail. However, after watching the movie ‘The Kerala Story,’ they reached out to some activists, and the girl was eventually traced and rescued,” Padalkar stated. The girl had been reported missing immediately after completing her 10th-grade examination.
A relative of the girl, present at the press conference, expressed their concern, saying, “Ever since we rescued her on May 16, she has been battling depression and has not spoken to anyone. The boy misled her and kidnapped her in 2019. We repeatedly visited the police station but received an inadequate response.”
The police have filed a case at Manchar Police Station under sections 376, 376 (2) (n), 324, 344, 34 of the IPC, as well as sections 4, 6, 8, 10, and 11 of the POCSO Act.