Eight college students have been arrested after a minor girl was allegedly blackmailed and raped inside their hostel in Jhansi, with the district administration saying it may invoke the stringent National Security Act against the accused.
Jhansi Senior Superintendent of Police Dinesh Kumar P said the girl was allegedly raped by one of the accused while others stood outside the hostel even as an examination was underway on the campus and the teachers were busy conducting it.
"Since the crime spot -- the hostel -- was a bit away from the college building, nobody noticed it," the SSP said, adding the girl filed a complaint against them.
All the accused were arrested by Monday night and they have been booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, the SSP said.
He also said it is a matter of probe as to how the students reached the hostel of government polytechnic institute despite it being closed.
He said a case has been registered and it will be taken to a fast-track court so that justice is served expeditiously and the accused are given a harsh punishment.
"During the probe, it was found that all the accused persons are students of the government polytechnic college. They also extorted Rs 3,000 from the girl by blackmailing her," the SSP said.
Police also said the girl had gone to meet a friend and they were near the college when the accused forcibly took her to the hostel. She said the accused also thrashed her friend when he tried to intervene.
District Magistrate A Vamsi said orders have issued to rusticate all of the accused from the college.
"The district administration is mulling to invoke the stringent National Security Act. At the time of the incident, an examination was underway at the Government Polytechnic and despite this the accused indulged in the act. Hence, a strong message should go to society," he said.
Under the NSA, an individual can be taken into preventive detention without a charge for up to 12 months if the authorities are satisfied that the person is a threat to national security or law and order.
A Special Investigation Team has been formed at the local level to help the policemen from Sipri Bazar police station, under whose jurisdiction the crime spot falls, to probe the case, SSP Dinesh Kumar P said.
A joint team of the Circle officer (city) and city magistrate are probing the matter.
The SSP said the girl was being offered counselling so that she or her parents don't face any mental pressure.