rape
[Representational image] Police officials have said that a 10-year-old girl was raped and murdered allegedly by a man who was released from prison on Saturday. Picture: An anti-rape protest in progress.Reuters

Two minor girls were gang-raped in the Pathanamthitta district of Kerala on 4 and 5 December. Interestingly, the police had received a complaint in this regard on 4 December itself, Adoor Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) Nasim A told IBTimes India.

He also said eight people have been arrested in this regard -- four each on 4 and 5 December. This, however, contradicts Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala's statement to IANS that 11 people had been arrested in this regard.

"Eleven of them have been picked up. Most of them are Class XI students and others are men," Chennithala told IANS. "What the police have so far found out is that the incident began from a missed call and reached this most unfortunate episode."

Local reports suggest that the two girls — both school students — were first called up by one of their acquaintances on 4 December and taken to a house in Karunagappally, where one of them was tied up and raped by four people. The other girl was reportedly locked in a room because she refused to be taken to a lodge. The accused then apparently dropped the girls home at the end of the day.

The next day, one of the accused, who was known to the family of the girl who had been locked up the previous day, took her away on some pretext and raped her along with his friends.

The accused also reportedly warned both the girls not to reveal any of the incidents to anyone.

The police said they are interrogating the eight accused, and would present them in court later on Saturday, 12 December.

"We used our cyber cell's technology to track and nab the accused," the Adoor DySP told IBTimes India, adding that four were arrested on 4 December and another four on 5 December.

"We are looking at charges of rape and relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act," he added.