The city police, having arrested 17 persons accused of involvement in the sexual assault of a girl in Ayanavaram, on Wednesday intensified their investigation and added more sections under the Indian Penal Code, in addition to those under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.

The 17 were produced before a judicial magistrate and remanded in Puzhal Central Prison on Tuesday.

A senior city police official said that the 17 accused were booked under Sections 5 (punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault), 10 (punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault) and 12 (punishment for sexual harassment) of the POCSO Act.

The official, talking about the latest developments in the investigation, said that in order to build a water-tight case against the accused, they had also invoked various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 307 (attempt to murder), 328 (causing hurt by means of poison, etc.), 341 and 342 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 376AB (death penalty for rape of children), 376DB (life imprisonment for persons involved in gang rape of woman aged less than 16 years and 12 years respectively), and 506(2) (punishment for criminal intimidation). The three sections of the POCSO Act were invoked against all the 17 accused persons, the official added.

A senior police official, when asked if any more persons were involved in the incident, said as of now only 17 persons had been arrested based on the victim’s identification.

The police have formed a special team headed by Deputy Commissioner (Kilpauk Range) S. Rajendran and have started an investigation by visiting the apartment complex in Ayanavaram.

The police officials have also started investigation into the role of the two agencies that provided security personnel and other utility persons, such as plumbers and electricians for the multi-storeyed apartments in Ayanavaram. A senior police official said investigators were first readying the chargesheet against the accused and would later bring the utility agencies into the investigation.

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