THANE: A local court on Wednesday extended the police custody of 22 accused persons arrested in the Dombivli gang-rape case till October 4.

A total of 33 persons have been arrested or detained in connection with the alleged blackmailing and repeated gang-rape of a 15-year-old girl in Thane city.

Two of the accused are minors, who have been detained.

Twenty-two of the arrested accused were produced before the magistrate court in Kalyan after the expiry of their current police remand period.

The court remanded them in further police custody till October 4.

The 15-year-old victim was allegedly repeatedly gang-raped between January and September 2021.

The crime came to light on September 22, when the victim lodged a complaint with the Manpada police station in Dombivli.

The Thane police have set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT), led by a woman officer, to probe the case.

The girl was allegedly raped multiple times at different places in Thane district, including Dombivli, Badlapur, Murbad and Rabale, the police have said.

Based on the girl’s complaint, the Manpada police on last Wednesday registered a case against all the 33 accused under IPC sections 376 (rape), 376 (n) (repeated rape), 376 (d) (gang-rape), 376 (3) (rape on a woman under sixteen years of age) and provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Some of the accused blackmailed the minor girl by threatening to circulate her pictures and video of sexual assault on her that was recorded by them on their mobile phones, she had told the police.