Chennai Police on Monday arrested 18 of the 22 men from an apartment complex in Purasawalkam for raping a 12-year-old girl with a hearing disorder for over seven months. Reports said that the 22 suspects include security guards, plumbers and elevator operators. The victim, a Class 7 student was drugged by the suspects before leading the heinous act. Police said they have been looking for the left suspects while the arrested 18 suspects were charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act.

At first, it was Ravi Kumar (66), an elevator operator who first sexually assaulted her. Initially, the girl maintained her silence on the matter as the victims were repeatedly blackmailing her. She was suffering from the trauma regularly until she told everything to her elder sister on Saturday, July 14. She told that how the elevator operator first raped her and later brought some other men who raped her under the influence of alcohol. They also videotaped themselves raping her and used to threaten her with those. After that other men joined in too and repeatedly assaulted the girl for around seven months. They used to sedate the girl with drugs that were mixed in soft drinks or syringes.

The police said that Ravi used to follow her as soon as her school van drops her in the apartment. He then used to take her to the basement, public washrooms, the terrace and gym where he along with other suspects used to rape her. The elder sister expressed her sister’s ordeal to their parents who registered a complaint with the Ayanavaram all women police. After taking her to Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital for treatment on Sunday, it was confirmed that she has been raped by several men.

The police also seized the sedatives, syringes and soft drink bottles that the suspects used to drug the girl. The police have already sent these to the forensic laboratory for determining the drug used. The police have also sent seized condoms to the laboratory.