A 20-year-old woman was allegedly gang-raped by three of her friends in Ulhasnagar on Friday around 8.30pm. The incident took place when the victim had gone to a shop near her house to buy a cold drink.
According to the police, when the victim reached the shop, her friends, who were loitering nearby, greeted her and called her to them on the pretext of wanting to discuss something. They then allegedly took her to an isolated spot and raped her.
The Ulhasnagar police have arrested the three identified as Vijay Shaligram Kharat, 23, Dutta aka Bandya Dhondiram Kamble, 20, and Sunil Bhimrao Pradhan, 25. The trio was arrested on Saturday morning around 7.30am from their residences.
A police officer said that when the three youths called out to her, she hesitated to go to as it was late. But as soon as she took a couple of steps towards them, they pounced on her, putting a hand over her mouth to stop her from screaming, and dragged her to a deserted area nearby.
The three accused allegedly took turns to rape her and later threatened her of dire consequences if she revealed what had happened to anyone. They left her there and, at the same time, the victim's family members started looking for her as more than an hour had passed since she had left home.
The victim returned home and told her parents what had happened. Her family members then lodged a police complaint. As the accused were known to the victim, she gave all their details to the police.
An officer said, "We have arrested all the three accused and have also produced them in court. They will be in our custody till Monday. We will also send the victim and the accused for medical test to Central hospital."
"All the three accused are residents of Ulhasnagar and stay in the same locality," he added.
The accused have been booked under sections 376 (rape), 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage, etc) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.