KOTA BARU- Police are perturbed by public apathy after a 15-year-old student is believed to have been gang-raped and likely sodomised in Ketereh in what police say could be a sexual offence that involved a minor and the most number of men in the country.
District OCPD Asst Comm Azham Othman said the police were alarmed by the fact that the crime scene was a drug haunt where some 30 men high on drugs allegedly took turns to rape the defenceless girl.
"It is very disturbing to me that no one in the kampung was even suspicious when the closest neighbour was a mere 20m away.
"This incident could have been avoided if people in the area had reported to us that the wooden house was a drug haunt in the first place... We could have taken action to address the problem," ACP Azham said yesterday.
He said there was a possibility that the Form Three pupil from Guchil, Kuala Krai, had been sodomised, too.
He said the police would scrutinise the victim's medical report, adding that a task force had been set up to investigate the case.
It was reported yesterday that on May 20, the girl was asked by her 17-year-old friend to pick her up in Ketereh, about 30km from Kuala Krai.
Subsequently, the victim and a male companion arrived to send the friend to an old house in Kampung Huta Pasir, Ketereh, where up to 30 men allegedly took turns to rape her.
The victim, who apparently fainted after being subjected to continuous raping, woke up the next day with intense pain in her private parts.
A resident who lived close by, Rogayah Abdullah, 57, said they had repeatedly asked the owner of the house, which had been left unlocked and unoccupied for the past five years, to demolish it since it had become a haunt for youngsters.
She said the people who frequented it - up to 20 at any time - were a nuisance to the locals.
"They would rev their motorcycle engines during weekends and were always noisy until the wee hours of the morning.
"I was unaware of the alleged rape case until policemen showed up there. On the day of the incident, I only arrived home from my restaurant nearby at 11pm," she recalled yesterday.
Rogayah also claimed that the owner resided just 20m away.
A check by The Star found that the house was well-maintained and clean though unfurnished. In the lone bedroom where the rape allegedly took place, there were a worn-out mattress and a television set.