The accused were reportedly traced by the police through payments made by them on a digital wallet app.

A young girl standing in the foreground looking into the camera while a group of men stare at her from behindImage for representation
news Crime Sunday, October 25, 2020 - 18:37

Prakasam district police in Andhra Pradesh have arrested nine men, four months after the alleged sexual  assault of a minor girl from Nellore district girl, who had been forced into sex work by her own relative.

Police arrested Syed Salman (24) from Kondapi, Katragadda Siva Kumar (24) and Unnam Naveen (31) from Chowtapalem, Burramsetty Ravi Teja (24) from Singarayakonda and Gondi Vamsi Krishna (24) from Kondamudusupalem.

Others involved in the alleged sexual assault include Kasireddy Brahma Reddy (25) from Chintalapalem, Dhanyasi Deva Prakash (24) from Ulavapadu, Ravuri Aravind (25) from Ponnaluru and Komatla Yedukondalu (30) Kothapatnam.

The case dates back to July 18, when police acted on a tip-off to raid a house in Mahadevapuram village of Kandukur mandal, and found the minor girl in a terrible condition after being sexually assaulted by multiple men.

A woman named Nadendla Madhavi, living in Vijayawada, had allegedly forged a deal with the sister-in-law of the minor girl to force her into sex work for five days, in exchange for Rs 27,000.

"Madhavi kept the minor girl at a vacant home in Mahadevapuram village and started sending men. We got a tip-off on July 18 and we immediately raided that house, rescued the girl and arrested four people," a Prakasam district Disha police official told IANS.

Madhavi, the owner of the house where the sex work occurred, and the minor girl's sister-in-law from Nellore, were arrested.

However, police could not immediately zero in on the men who had sexually assaulted  the minor girl, as Madhavi hid her cellphones making it difficult to trace them.

After persistent efforts, police managed to trace the digital trail left by the nine accused while paying money to Madhavi through a digital wallet 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 sections 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 370 (4) (trafficking of a minor), 376 (2) (punishment for rape) of the Indian Penal Code, and relevant sections of POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) and The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act. 

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