Thiruvananthapuram: Police in Kerala’s Kannur district have arrested five people in connection with the rape and alleged filming of the abuse of a schoolgirl at a lodge in Parassinikadavu.

The Class 10 girl who is 16 years old, is believed to have been duped into going to a lodge by one of the accused, where she was raped by multiple people, and the abuse filmed.

Those arrested on Thursday were identified as K.V. Sandeep, 31, C.P. Shamsudeen, 37, V.C. Shabeer, 36, K. Ayub, 32, and K. Pavithran, 38.

Of the five, Pavithran is an employee at the lodge where the girl was abused, and he has been taken into custody for making arrangements for the alleged culprits at the lodge.

The abuse reportedly happened on November 19, after Sandeep allegedly lured the girl into going with him to the lodge. Investigation into the case began after the circle inspector in Kannur received a complaint about the girl being abused.

The girl has reportedly told the police that it was a woman named Anjana who first befriended her on social media, and then got her in touch with the accused persons. However, police suspect that it may have been the fake identity of a woman used on social media. Based on the statement of the victim, police have also questioned the victim’s father.

The matter came to light after the accused showed a video of the abuse to the victim’s brother to blackmail the family. The family members then approached the police, after which the gory details of the abuse were revealed.

Cases have been registered against the accused as per the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act.

Police suspect that the accused had once earlier in November abused her, and filmed the abuse, and later used it to blackmail her to abuse her again.