Updated: August 30, 2021 10:13:51 am
The Karnataka Police arrested five residents of Tamil Nadu, including a juvenile, Friday night for the gangrape of a 23-year-MBA student in Mysuru on August 24. One person allegedly involved in the case is absconding, police said. The accused have been remanded in police custody for 10 days.
The fact that the attackers spoke Tamil, technical analysis of telephone numbers active in the location at the time of the crime, and bus tickets recovered from the spot were among the clues that helped police track the accused, sources said.
DGP Praveen Sood said all the five are labourers from Tiruppur who frequently visited Mysuru for work, including a driver, carpenter, painter and others doing odd jobs. He said they had first tried to extort money from the woman and her friend, making a call from the latter’s phone to his father seeking Rs 3 lakh. “It was first an incident of attempted robbery,” Sood said.
The 23-year-old had been sexually assaulted and the friend beaten up on August 24 evening in an isolated stretch near Mysuru.
On Friday, the woman who had received severe injuries left hospital and is believed to have returned home, outside Karnataka. A senior police officer said she left against doctors’ advice. “Her parents chose to take her and they left in the afternoon. She was not in a condition to travel but they chose to leave,” the officer said.
An officer said, “The victim was not able to speak or share any details, but her friend said the accused spoke Tamil and this was one of the vital clues… A dump of cellphone tower data was collected. We then sourced data of mobile SIM cards registered in Tamil Nadu and filtered them. Meanwhile, other teams collected CCTV footage from nearby places.”
The Karnataka Police also alerted their Tamil Nadu counterparts, and soon they zeroed in on one suspect in the Tiruppur area of Tamil Nadu who matched all the criteria they were looking for. “A team went there. Once we nabbed him, it became easy for us to get the other accused,” the police officer said.
An officer who is a part of the probe said the accused appeared to have “underestimated the gravity of the incident” and thought they would get away as they had made videos of the incident and threatened to circulate the same if the couple went to the police. However, as the incident became known and gathered political heat, they decided to hide.
The DGP said the age of one of the accused — who is said to be 17 — is being verified. However, since the crime was of a serious nature, he would be tried as an adult, Sood said. Police are also checking records to see if they have been involved in other crimes.
“We will be filing a chargesheet at the earliest,” the officer said.
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