The Hyderabad police has arrested 18-year-old Saaduddin Malik and two juveniles-in-conflict-with-the-law (JICL) so far in connection with the alleged gangrape of a teenager in an upscale area of the city.
Of the five accused identified by the victim so far, police said, Saaduddin Malik and Umair Khan are 18-years-old. Umair and another JICL are currently absconding, said DCP Joel Davis.
The DCP on Saturday afternoon said the two minors were being produced before a juvenile court. “So far, five accused persons are identified, out of which three of them are juveniles. Till now, one accused and two juveniles are apprehended, and efforts are underway to apprehend the remaining accused who are absconding,” the DCP stated.
While speaking to the media on Friday night, DCP Davis was asked repeatedly if an MLA’s son was involved in the crime, to which he said the police were yet to collect any such evidence. He, however, denied allegations that a minister’s grandson was involved and termed it baseless. The DCP refused to divulge further details saying that the survivor as well as the accused are minors.
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A 17-year-old student was allegedly gangraped in a car by five boys she met at a non-alcoholic party attended by nearly 150 of her friends at a pub in an upmarket locality of Hyderabad on the evening of May 28. It was only after three days that the girl confided in her parents and her father filed a complaint.
On June 1, the police registered a case under Section 354 (assault or criminal force on a woman to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code. On June 3, they altered the case to Section 376D (gang rape), 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and added Sections 5 and 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, following a medical examination of the girl and recording of her statement.
During the probe, the police collected CCTV footage from outside the pub at 5.45 pm, the bakery where the suspects took her and spent nearly half an hour, and from outside the pub again when they dropped her back at 7.32 pm. The victim called her mother from here and was taken home by her father. According to the footage, the victim left the pub at around 5.45 pm along with five suspects in a car. “There were about eight youngsters in the car and another vehicle that tailed them. While offering to drop her home, they drove to a bakery first and later left in the bigger vehicle claiming that diesel had run dry in the car. At a secluded place, five people gangraped her and dropped her back at the pub at 7.32 pm,” said an officer.
Reacting to the incident, Minister KT Rama Rao took to Twitter and wrote: “Outraged & shocked with the news of the rape of a minor in Hyderabad. Request HM @mahmoodalitrs Garu @TelanganaDGP Garu and @CPHydCity to take immediate & stern action. Please don’t spare anyone involved irrespective of their statuses or affiliations.”
The Home Minister responded saying: “Sure @KTRTRS sir. It is a ghastly incident. Strong action will be taken against all the offenders, irrespective of their background. TelanganaDGP & @CPHydCity have already been directed to make out efforts & arrest all the accused at the earliest & take strong action as per law.”
Sure @KTRTRS sir. It is a ghastly incident. Strong action will be taken against all the offenders, irrespective of their background. @TelanganaDGP & @CPHydCity have already been directed to make out efforts & arrest all the accused at the earliest & take strong action as per law. https://t.co/6I7XbCPiUy
— Mohammed Mahmood Ali (@mahmoodalitrs) June 3, 2022
TRS leader and MLC Kalvakuntla Kavitha hoped the police would get to the bottom of the crime. “In the sad & shameful incident where a minor was raped, we stand by the family. I am confident Telangana Police will get to the bottom of it. We have a track record of Zero Tolerance when it comes to Women’s safety !!” she wrote.
In the sad & shameful incident where a minor was raped, we stand by the family. I am confident Telangana Police will get to the bottom of it. We have a track record of Zero Tolerance when it comes to Women’s safety !!
— Kavitha Kalvakuntla (@RaoKavitha) June 3, 2022
Meanwhile, state BJP chief Bandi Sanjay and MLA Raghunandan Rao have demanded a CBI probe into the incident. BJP supporters staged a protest outside the police station on Friday, demanded the sacking of the Home Minister and warned of an intense protest if the probe was diluted in any manner.
Congress workers, led by former Union minister Renuka Chowdhury, staged a protest outside the Home Minister’s residence on Friday demanding the immediate arrest of all accused involved. Congress leader Dasoju Sravan alleged the police were trying to shield some accused persons as they hailed from powerful and influential families.
Youngsters, mostly friends, had booked the pub for their party from 1 pm to 6 pm on May 28. Over 150 people were present and the victim had met the accused for the first time at the party. The police confirmed that no liquor was served at the party, and that the suspects were not under the influence of alcohol at the time of the offence.
On allegations of inaction and delay in arrests, DCP Davis said the victim was in shock at the time her father lodged a complaint with the police, and was not in a position to give details. He said the entire effort on part of the police was to nab the accused immediately as the incident had occurred four days ago and the complaint was lodged only three days after the incident. The police are verifying if anyone other than the five identified by the victim was involved in the offence.