n officers clash with women as they protest against rape [Reuters].
The mother of a 16-year-old girl in Mumbai forced her to marry an HIV-positive man - and then helped him rape her repeatedly.
According to the victim, from the suburban town of Kalwa, her mother began the abuse by blackmailing her into marriage and manipulating her age to ensure it was allowed.
"After hearing talk of my marriage, I tried to escape from the house. But my mother chased me till the station and forced me to get off the train. She consumed phenyl to blackmail me into staying," the victim told police.
"I was left with no option but to marry this guy, knowing full well that he was HIV-positive."
According to the girl's statement, she was forced into having sex with the man as soon as the marriage was concluded. Her mother would pin her to the ground, tie her hands together and stuff her mouth with cloth to prevent her screaming.
The pair allegedly beat the girl black and blue when she tried to resist the man as he continued to abuse her.
"On many occasions I was beaten with bamboo sticks. When I still refused to give up, my mother forced me to have cold drinks laced with sedatives so that he could rape me," the girl said in her statement, according to a report in NDTV.
The teenager claims the man, a distant relative and long-time neighbour, had helped her family financially on a number of occasions and thus her indebted mother allowed him to marry and rape her.
The abuser eventually relented and agreed to divorce the girl, but at the same time cut off his financial support - prompting the victim's angry mother to torture her even more.
Police were alerted by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), who had been contacted by the girl with the help of a teacher. The rapist and the girl's mother have absconded, although officers insist they know the pair's whereabouts.
"We have booked the victim's mother as well as the accused, who are on the run. Preliminary investigations have revealed that the mother also had an affair with her neighbour," said inspector Dhule, of Kalwa police station.
"We have got the address of their native place and teams are on the way to arrest them."
News of the abuse comes just hours after Mumbai was alerted to a shocking gang rape, in which a photojournalist was abused by five men under the influence of drugs.
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