LUCKNOW: A man allegedly ‘gifted’ his 35-year-old daughter to his friends and later joined them to gang-rape her early Monday in Sitapur district, about 70km away from Lucknow. One of the three accused in the crime was arrested on Tuesday while the others are on the run.

Later, in the night, the man, who is now absconding, called up his friend Maan Singh and asked him to join them at the fair. Maan Singh, a listed history-sheeter who has several criminals cases registered against him and has partnered the man in a number of crimes, reached the fair.

The two convinced the girl to ride with them on the motorcycle and waylaid her to the house of their common friend Meraj who was alone at home as his family was away. The three confined the girl in a room and took turns with her holding her captive for 18 hours. Somehow, the victim managed to escape from their clutches on April 16 and reached home. She narrated her ordeal to her mother and same day an FIR was registered against all three — girl’s father, Maan Singh and Meraj.While Meraj was arrested on Tuesday, the other two are still at large.

According to Sitapur SP Sureshrao A Kulkarni, victim’s father had been banished by the villagers at a panchayat last year in November. He was accused by the village panchayat of having established
illicit ties with his daughter. This man was arrested but came out on bail in February this year. Meanwhile,  Station house officer of Kamlapur police station Sanjeet Sonkar said that Meraj was in early 40s was is a
medical practitioner but could not produce a degree. Sonkar said that Meraj worked as a quack in Kamlapur town.

According to the police sources, the girl was married off 16 years ago but came back after two years of wedding following a tiff with husband. At present, she had been staying separately along with her 14-year-old son.

Surprisingly, the fact that despite knowing her father’s sexual perversion, the girl accompanied him to the fair to be subjected to unimaginable agony and torment, leaves behind certain unanswered.

Police said the accused who is in his late 50s — and his daughter were visiting a fair in Kamlapur area on the evening of April 15. After attending the fair, the accused called his friend Maan Singh, a history-sheeter, to the spot. The men then convinced the woman to ride with them on a bike and took her to the house of another friend, Meraj.

There, the woman’s father handed her over to the men and all three took turns in raping her. She was kept confined in Meraj’s house for the next 18 hours until she finally escaped on Monday evening, said cops. Once home, she narrated her ordeal to her mother and an FIR was registered the same day.

Meraj was arrested on Tuesday while the woman’s father and Maan Singh are yet to be apprehended. Kamlapur SHO Sanjeet Sonkar said Meraj is in his early forties and works as a quack in Kamlapur. “He claimed to be a medical practitioner but couldn’t produce a degree,” Sonkar added. On the day of the crime, Meraj’s family was away.