The incident happened in Pandikkad, Malappuram district. The Child Welfare Committee and the police have swung into action now.
The girl was abused twice earlier.
Minister for Health and Social welfare KK Shailaja while speaking to media persons said the "Government will take stringent action against the perpetrators of this crime and the department will ensure that no more such things happen to hapless girls".
The station house officer of Pandikkad police station, Mohammed Haneefa while speaking to IANS said "There are a total of 30 cases under Pandikkad, Karuvarakkundu and Vandoor stations in Malappuram district on sexual abuse and assault of the minor girl".
The officer said "16 cases are at Pandikkad, 13 at Karuvarakkundu, 1 at Vandoor. Sixteen people have been arrested in Pandikkad and one in the case registered at Vandoor".
The girl who is now 17 ,was earlier abused four years ago when she was 13 years old and she was lodged at Nirbhaya home since 2016. She was again subjected to sexual abuse in 2017 when she started staying with her relatives.
The recent incident came to light when she went missing from the house where she was living with her brother and his wife. Her father is no more and her mother is an invalid.
Malappuram Child Welfare Committee (CWC) chairperson Shajesh Bhasker said "The girl has again been sent to her relatives as there was no allegation against any of them. All the accused are outsiders."
The case is being investigated by a team led by Perinthalmanna DySp and the Circle Inspectors of Pandikkad, Vandoor and Karuvarakkundu police stations are members of the team.
There are 44 accused in the three cases of sexual abuse which had taken place in a span of four years.