Teen gang-raped, lured with COVID-19 jab

A teenage girl in a COVID-ravaged Indian city has allegedly been gang-raped by two men who lured her to a deserted house with the promise of a vaccine.

The distressing ordeal — as India continues to be battered by its second COVID-19 wave — emerged from the Jamunapur area of Patna city of the northeast Indian state of Bihar on Tuesday.

The accused, Mantu and Rocky, were arrested a day after the alleged gang rape and are behind bars in the Malsalami police station.

“They have been booked under 376D and the investigation is on,” a police source said.

“We would also see whether they have been involved before in any case or not.”

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The duo allegedly took the girl to a deserted house and took turns raping her for an hour before fleeing from the spot.

The alleged victim (name withheld) said: “I begged before them to set me free, but they behaved like beasts and started touching my private parts. Before I could show some resistance they slapped me repeatedly.

“They took me to a house and started grabbing me.

“Before I could try to run away from the spot they tied my legs and hands to cover my mouth with a hanky.”

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The frightened girl managed to free herself and reached home where she told her parents about the horrific incident. They then called the police.

The duo confirmed persuading the girl with the promise of a COVID vaccine at one of Patna’s health facilities.

Police were working to verify the teen’s age, with a possibility of adding more charges against the two men from Jamunapur village.

“If she happens to be below 18, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act will also take place in the charge sheet against the criminals,” the investigation officer maintained.

Bihar has recorded a total number of 441,000 cases since the outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2021.

On April 28 the registration for the second phase of the mega vaccination drive kicked off — and citizens above the age of 18 will get a jab from May 1.

So far, 2391 deaths were reported in the state which has also witnessed a surge in the death rate since the double mutant virus was identified in India.

Health industry experts have also warned India is going to face a vaccine shortage from May 1, given the demand of the tens of thousands of beneficiaries.

As of now, the country has access to 70 million doses of Covishield monthly, apart from 20 million doses of Covaxin.

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