In a shameful incident, an 11-year-old hearing impaired girl was allegedly raped at a Chennai apartment building by several men for more than seven months.

The police have arrested 18 people so far in connection with the case and it is believed that more men were involved in the crime. A hunt is on to nab the others.

Among the people who were arrested are security guards, gardener and elevator operator of the building.

According to media reports, the minor girl was allegedly sedated and given spiked soft drinks. The crime was reportedly video-graphed by the accused, who later blackmailed the victim threatening to release the video online, said the police.

The incident came to light when the minor girl finally confided in her elder sister. She narrated her ordeal to her sister as she suffered from severe stomach ache. The sister brought it to the notice of their parents, after which the victim’s mother approached the police and a complaint was filed on Sunday.

The girl reportedly told the police that she was first raped by elevator operation Ravi Kumar (66). After two days, he got two more men to rape her. Soon, the number of men went up to 22.

The victim’s mother, in her complaint, alleged that the assaults began on January 15 when Ravi took the girl to an isolated place in the apartment complex and raped her.

The accused allegedly took the girl to different isolated places in the complex such as the basement, public washroom, terrace, and gym, to rape her.

Given that the accused used to work at the building, they already knew there was only one CCTV camera in the compound — at the entrance gate.

They would wait for the girl to return from her school, after which they would take her to one place of their choice violate her.

The victim’s mother assumed that the girl was out playing with her friends whenever she came late.

The girl’s statement was recorded in the Mahila Court on Monday.

According to the police, three people have confessed to the crime and further investigation is under way.

According to the a report in the TOI, some of the suspects were identified as security guards Murugesh (54), Palani (40), Abishek (23), Sugumaran (60), Prakash (58), and Umapathy (42); elevator operators Ravi Kumar (66), Paramasivam (60), Dheenadayalan (50), Srinivasan (45), and Babu (36); plumbers Jaiganesh (23), Raja (32), Surya (23), Suresh (32); an electrician Jayaraman (26); a housekeeping employee, Rajasekar (40); and a gardener, Gunasekar (55).