“One more accused has been taken into custody, and now a total of four accused have been arrested. The fifth accused is still absconding,” inspector of Jubilee Hills S Rajashekhar Reddy said.
This comes a day after other accused were taken into custody.
The 17-year-old son of a politician holding an important position in the Telangana government was arrested on Saturday along with his friend on the charge of gang-raping a girl in a car in the upscale Hyderabad neighbourhood of Banjara Hills on May 28.
Police had picked up another suspect — an 18-year-old — on Friday. The two arrested on Saturday were produced before the juvenile justice board because of their age. “Five accused persons were identified in this case. Efforts are on to arrest the other two, who are on the run,” police said.
Of the five, two boys belong to families of politicians in Hyderabad and Sanga Reddy town. This has spurred calls to transfer the investigation to the CBI, with BJP’s Telangana unit alleging that state police were trying to cover up. BJP MLA M Raghunandan Rao alleged that an AIMIM MLA’s son was involved in the alleged gang rape and some of the suspects have fled to Dubai.
Accused led normal life for 2 days after rape
Incidentally, following the gang rape, the five accused persons returned to the bakery in Banjara Hills, from which the victim was picked up earlier on the same day. The accused led normal lives for about two days after committing the crime.
The accused persons, who left for different places on the same night after spending some time in the bakery, alerted two days after their friends enquired about what had happened inside the Innova. “The accused initially denied to have committed anything foul and by the time the complaint was lodged, they were inaccessible,” said a police.
According to the police, the victim met the accused at a party in a pub at Jubilee Hills on May 28. Later, the accused along with the victim went to a bakery, where they spent some time. From the bakery, the five accused and the victim got into an Innova. On the pretext of dropping her home, the accused took the vehicle to an isolated place and raped her. Subsequently, they dropped her at the same pub, where they initially met her in the afternoon.
What happened on May 28
On the evening of May 28, the accused sexually assaulted the victim in an Innova car after agreeing to drop her home after a party at a pub in Jubilee Hills where the victim and the accused attended a party.
According to the police official, the suspects left the bar in a vehicle and stopped at a pastry store on the way. They got out of the car and boarded another one.
Despite the fact that the car had been seized by the police, no information about the Innova vehicle had been released. The DCP evaded replies about the SUV’s owner.
According to the police investigation, the offender dropped the victim near the pub after committing the crime. She dialled her father’s number, who picked her up but suspected something untoward happened to her as there were bruises on her neck.
On May 31, the victim’s father approached the police saying his daughter went to a day-time non-alcoholic party and suspected that molestation might have taken place there. He told police that the girl is in a state of shock and is not able to speak.
Based on the complaint, police registered a case under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections 9 and 10 of Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and started investigation. As per the Standard Operating Procedure, the next day after counseling the victim child, police sent her to Bharosa Centre where lady officials made her comfortable and gave her confidence.
“It was only the next day she revealed to lady officials what happened and gave her statement,” the DCP said.
Based on the victim’s statement, police altered the case to section 376 D of IPC and section 5 and 6 of POCSO Act and since there were bruises on the victim, Section 323 of IPC was also added.
On the direction of the City Police Commissioner, various teams were constituted which started collecting details. “The victim was not in a position to reveal the identity of the accused as they were not known to her earlier. Based on CCTV footage and other technical evidence and CCTV and after it was corroborated with the victim’s statement we identified five accused, two of them major and three aged 16-17,” he said.
There have been allegations by leaders of opposition BJP that grandson of state home minister and son of a MLA of MIM were also involved.
The police officer termed as ‘100 per cent baseless’ the allegations about the home minister’s grandson. He also said neither the victim’s statement nor other evidence gathered so far show that AMLA’s son was involved.
The police officer, however, said the investigations were on and once the victim is in a position to give a detailed statement and if something comes out during investigation about involvement of others action will be taken accordingly.
(With inputs from agencies)