IMPHAL, Apr 23: Five of the six accused who were remanded to police custody after they were charged with the rape of two underaged girls on April 14 night have turned out to be juveniles.
Their family members produced relevant age proof certificates before the Investigation Officer of the case.
Accordingly, they have been sent to Observation Home, Takyelpat .
It may be mentioned that another accused in the rape case was already sent to the Observation Home on the ground that he is a juvenile.
All the seven accused were produced before the Special Court, POCSO Imphal East under FIR number 15 (4) 2017 Women police station Imphal East under Section 376 (D)/120-B/363/34 of IPC and Section 6 of POCSO Act, 2012 on April 19.
The Court had remanded six of the accused to police custody till April 25 while the remaining one who was found to be a juvenile was sent to the Observation Home.
The Investigation Officer was directed by the Court to inform family members of the five accused who claimed themselves to be juveniles before the Court to produce relevant documents in support of their claim. After producing age proof documents and following required norms, the five accused were sent to the Observation Home. Medical examination of the seven accused and the two victims was conducted at Forensic Medical Science Department, JNIMS on April 19.
Statements of the two rape victims were recorded before the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal East on April 21. Now Thongam Sadananda (22) s/o (L) Shamu Singh of Moirang Kampu is the lone accused who is under police custody. It may be mentioned that the incident of the gang rape came to light after Women Action for Development (WAD) lodged a complaint with SP Imphal East on April 17.
It was reported that the seven accused overpowered friends of the two underaged girls who were on their way to a Thabal Chongba site in two-wheeler vehicles and allegedly raped the girls after taking them to a foothill at Phaknung, Imphal East district on April 14 night.
Source: The Sangai Express