NEW DELHI, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Police in the southern Indian state of Kerala arrested six people for allegedly raping teenage girls from an orphanage, local officials said Tuesday.
The accused were arrested in Wayanad district, about 450 km north of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala.
"We have arrested six men in connection with sexual assaults of seven young girls of an orphanage here," a police official said. "The arrests were made on the identification of victims."
Earlier during the day the girls -- all students of Classes VIII and IX -- recorded their statements before a magistrate.
The accused according to police have been charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).
Officials said the accused gang reportedly used to lure children into a shop with chocolates and then subjecting them to sexually assaults.
Police investigation revealed the accused men photographed their sexual assaults and used the photographs to blackmail the victims into further submitting.
According to officials, the teenage girls of the orphanage were being raped by the accused for past two months.
A legislator P K Sreemathi, who held an interaction with the victims on Tuesday, told reporters victims were left with no other option but to fall into the trap. Sreemathi has urged the orphanage officials to provide counselling to children admitted there.
Reports said the matter came to light after one of the girls was seen coming out from a shop in tears by a local, following which a complaint was lodged with police.
The orphanage has over 1,000 children enrolled in it.
Sexual attacks on women and girls in India puts a question mark on their safety and efficiency of police force in the country.
In Dec. 2002 a fatal gang-rape of a medical student in New Delhi brought spotlight on crimes against women in India.
The incident saw huge protests and resulted in new anti-rape laws in the country. However, brutal sexual attacks against women continue to be reported across India.