Police managed to trace the digital trail left by the nine accused while paying money to another accused through a digital payment app.

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news Crime Sunday, October 25, 2020 - 08:55

In a sensational development, Andhra Pradesh's Prakasam district police have arrested nine men, four months after they allegedly raped a minor girl from Nellore district and forced her into commercial sexual exploitation. Police arrested Syed Salman (24) from Kondapi, Katragadda Siva Kumar (24), Unnam Naveen (31) from Chowtlapalem, Burramsetty Ravi Teja (24) from Singarayikonda and Gondi Vamsi Krishna (24) from Kondamurusupalem. Others arrested included Kasireddy Brahma Reddy (25) from Chintalapalem, Dhanyasi Deva Prakash (24) from Ulavapadu, Ravuri Aravind (25) from Ponnaluru and Komatla Yedukondalu (30) from Kothapatnam.

The case dates back to July 18, when police acted on a tipoff to raid a house in Madevapuram village of Kandukur mandal to find a minor girl in a pathetic condition after allegedly being raped by multiple men. One Nadendla Madhavi, who lives in Vijayawada, forged a deal with the sister-in-law of the minor girl to force her into commercial sexual exploitation for five days at a cost of Rs 27,000, police said.

"Madhavi kept the minor girl at a vacant home in Madevapuram village and started sending men. We got a tipoff on July 18 and we immediately raided that house, rescued the girl and arrested four people," a Prakasam district Disha official told IANS. Madhavi, owner of the house where the incident occurred, and the minor girl's sister-in-law from Nellore were arrested.

However, police could not immediately zero in on the men who raped the minor girl as Madhavi hid her cellphones to make it difficult to trace. Despite the challenges, Prakasam District Superintendent of Police Siddharth Kaushal tasked his officers to go after the men involved in the case. In fact the district Disha, women's protection wing, DSP M Dhanunjaya, a key investigator even got infected with coronavirus in between and was absent for almost a month.

After persistent efforts, police managed to trace the digital trail left by the nine accused while paying money to Madhavi through the 'PhonePe' app. Police contacted the Bengaluru-based fintech company to elicit more details and the banking channels used to pay Madhavi to finally crack the case, along with the cellular phone coordinates which existed at the crime location during those five days.

All the nine men have been arrested under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Police were making arrangements to produce them at a magistrate's home.

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