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A Gang-rape Of A 14-Year-Old From Bhopal Highlights The Dangers Of The Internet For Children

Highlights

  1. The girl met three teenage boys through a popular online game
  2. In September 2020, she agreed to go on an outing with them
  3. The three accused allegedly gang-raped her and filmed the act

A horrific case from Bhopal exemplifies dangers lurking online, especially for young children. A class VI student was gang-raped for a month by three teenage boys, whom she met through a popular online game. She didn't know anything about them beyond their names and phone numbers, but they chatted over the phone for months. In September 2020, she agreed to go on an outing with them where things took a turn for the worse. They took her to a flat in Gautam Nagar where they allegedly gang-raped her and filmed the act. Threatening to post the video online if she dared to speak out, they continued to gang-rape her repeatedly for a month.

Also Read: Delhi High Court's Landmark Judgement Sets A Benchmark For Awarding Compensation In POCSO Cases

Investigating officer, Alok Srivastava said the biggest challenge was tracing the location of the perpetrators as the girl didn't know the names of the accused, but only had their phone numbers.

One day, the girl's mother saw scratch marks on the girl's body and asked her what happened. The girl told that the three accused raped her and had been blackmailing since. She had their phone numbers, that is how we traced their locations and registered the crime. They were soon arrested, said Mr Srivastava.

Also Read: 7-Year-Old Afsana's Ordeal At The Hands Of Her Father

The three accused were booked under different sections of the Indian Penal Code for gang-rape, criminal intimidation and under provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences or POCSO Act. Visibly shaken, the traumatised child is presently undergoing counselling.

With children being locked indoors due to the pandemic, screen time has increased manifold. And along with it, cases of online child sexual abuse. Archana Sahay, Director, Childline said parents need to be very careful and should know what their children are doing, especially when online classes are taking place.

Also Read: Bachpan Bachao Andolan Helped 5-year-old Gudiya, A Child Survivor, To Get Justice After 7 Long Years

Parents should be careful about what my child is doing. They should sit with them and some arrangement should be made in the house so that children can share what is happening with them in online classes. If they do not share, that means something is there, said Ms Sahay.

There are thousands of others like this young girl who are exploited online on a daily basis but continue to suffer in silence.

Also Read: How Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation's Bal Mitra Gram Is Empowering Children

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