Indian police arrested six men on Sunday (3 December) for allegedly abusing, groping and molesting a girl on a road and for capturing the incident on camera. The video, showing up to 15 men with faces covered chasing and harassing the girl, went viral in the country, prompting police action.
According to police officials, the victim did not disclose the details of the two-month-old incident to anyone out of shame and fear, but they filed a suo moto case after becoming aware of the viral video.
Police added that the group of men, believed to be from the eastern Indian state of Odisha attacked the girl when she visited a dam in Bargarh district's Paikmal block on 4 October. She was accompanied by a male friend, who was mercilessly thrashed by the group.
Financial Express reported that the girl had gone to the dam, a popular picnic spot in the area, with two of her cousins. One of the cousins had left the place, following which the alleged incident took place.
The accused men were organising a picnic at the dam when they spotted the girl with her cousin and began chasing them.
One of the accused reportedly recorded the incident in which 10 to 15 men were seen molesting and harassing the girl in a uniform despite her repeated pleas to let her go. They even tried to sexually assault her, Financial Express noted.
According to the director general of police, R P Sharma, all police stations surrounding the area of the incident were asked to register a suo moto case soon after news channel reported the sexual harassment incident. Police were even ordered to form two special squads to nab the culprits.
Sharma had asked all police stations to take strict action against the youth involved in the case, the Press Trust of India reported.
Of the six arrested, police said four are prime accused and the other two are accomplices. The accused men have been charged for assaulting the girl under multiple sections of the Indian Penal Code as well as under the Information Technology Act for recording and sharing the video online.