Palanpur: In a shocking incident, a teenaged girl was first kidnapped and sold off for Rs 80,000 to a man, who repeatedly sexually assaulted her for five months at a village in Banaskantha district in Gujarat, police said.
Police rescued the girl, 13-year-old, from Manpura village in the district and arrested six persons, including the alleged rapist to whom she was sold, yesterday.
"The girl hails from Udaipur in Rajasthan and had been brought to Rupapura village in Banaskantha district as a farm labourer. However, around five months ago, she was kidnapped by three accused, identified as Mukeshbhai Vadi, Kantibhai Makwana and Vishnu Thakor," Banaskantha Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Akshayrajsinh Makwana said.
"The girl was then sold off for Rs 80,000 to one Khodabhai Thakor at Manpura village. Gyanjibhai Thakor and Ranuba Thakor had struck the deal for him," he added.
The victim was kept in confinement at a farm and raped repeatedly by Khodabhai, the officer said adding, "The girl was rescued last night and all six accused were arrested."
The six accused-- Khodabhai, Mukeshbhai Vadi, Kantibhai Makwana, Vishnu Thakor, Gyanjibhai Thakor and Ranuba Thakor-- were brought to Sihori police station in Banaskantha district.
While Khodabhai has been booked under IPC section 376 (rape), others have been booked under sections 363 (kidnapping), 344 (wrongful confinement), 370 (human trafficking), 372 (selling a minor for prostitution), among others. They have also been booked under sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
According to police, when the victim's family lost contact with her, they launched a search. However, since they could not trace the minor, her father had approached Sihori police station, who started the investigation into the case.
The police officer said that during the interrogation, Ranuba told them that he had sold one more girl to someone for Rs 50,000.
"Based on the information provided by him, the other girl was also rescued from a village in Patan district today," Makwana said adding that no arrests have been made in the second case as yet.
According to the ASP, more cases of girls being kidnapped and sold off are likely to come to light.
Further investigation into both the cases is on.