Six youths were on Tuesday arrested for raping seven school girls, who are inmates of an orphanage near here, police said.Statements of the victims -- students of Classes 8 and 9 -- were recorded by a magistrate earlier in the day.Speaking to IANS, a Kalpetta police station official said all the six alleged attackers have been identified through an identification parade."The youths have been arrested and now they will be presented before a magistrate. A case has been registered against them under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO)," said the official, who did not wish to be identified.Sexual exploitation of the girls had been going on since January this year, according to him.
Lok Sabha member from Kannur P.K. Sreemathi, who held an interaction with the victims on Tuesday, told reporters that the accused had shot photographs of the victims and were threatening of their misuse, forcing the girls to fall into their trap.Sreemathi instructed the authorities that all the residents of the orphanage be given counselling.Office-bearers of the orphanage told media that the moment they came to know about what had happened to these girls, they reported the matter to the police, which led to the arrest of the six youths.State Minister for Social Justice K.K. Shailaja told reporters in state capital Thiruvananthapuram that very soon all the orphanages would be inspected to find out their condition."Strict action would be taken against the violators of rules and regulations," said the minister.