In the sexual assault case of a 23-year-old MBA student, Mysuru police are using technical data like cell phone location of all mobile phones that were in use in the area where the crime took place to identify and question suspects.
The police also learnt from the victim’s male friend that the accused had taken videos of the woman and threatened to make them public if the couple approached the police. Although unconfirmed reports say cops have detained one person linked to the crime, they are yet to make arrests.
On Tuesday night, the woman was sexually assaulted by four to five men when she was returning with a male friend from a forested area at the foothills of Chamundi Hills in Mysuru. The incident took place in the Tippayyanakere area in the Lalithadripura area under Alanahalli police station limits in Mysuru. The victim, who hails from outside Karnataka, lives as a paying guest in Mysuru.
Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Pratap Reddy Thursday visited the crime spot with several other officials. In June 2013, when a medical student at the Manipal University was attacked at night and sexually assaulted by unknown men, a team led by Reddy, who was then the IGP (western range), had identified and arrested the attackers on the basis of cell tower information.
In the Manipal University incident, the police had analysed the cell phone location data for the night of June 20, 2013 when a 22-year-old medical student of Manipal University was abducted from the campus and sexually assaulted at an isolated spot. Five locals were arrested in the case.
According to a senior police officer, in the Mysuru incident, the suspects attacked the male friend of the victim and subdued him and then sexually assaulted the young woman. The gang initially demanded money from the couple and then sexually assaulted the woman.
The police are looking at the possibility of the suspects being locals who often visit the isolated area, where the attack took place, at night. The accused reportedly snatched the mobile phones of the victims before fleeing the spot after the incident.
“The victim is yet to recover from the trauma and injuries of the incident but is in a better condition than Wednesday. Police have collected the cell location data for the area around the scene of crime,” sources added.
Police are also looking at liquor stores for the possible suspects since liquor bottles and cans were found near the site where the crime reportedly occurred.
A witness reported seeing four bikes parked at the side of the road Tuesday night when the incident occurred. The spot where the crime occurred is dark and isolated and there have been a few other incidents of robberies in the area, the local media in Mysuru reported.
Chairperson of Karnataka State Commission for Women Pramila Naidu Thursday visited the crime spot and later, paid a visit to the victim. She said the victim is yet to come out of shock and she was not allowed to speak to her by the doctors. “They suggested that I don’t speak to her but she is out of danger,” Naidu said.
Meanwhile, Congress workers in Bengaluru and Mysuru Thursday staged protests and demanded the resignation of newly-inducted Home Minister Araga Jnanendra and stern action against the accused. Reacting to the protests, Jnanendra said Congress party is “raping” him.
“The rape happened there (Mysuru) but the Congress is trying to rape the Home Minister. They (Congress) are gaining political mileage out of the incident. This is a heinous act and under humanitarian circumstances they should be demanding early detection of the case. People are watching and they will decide,” Jnanendra said.
President of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) D K Shivakumar condemned Jnanedra’s statement and said, “I will seek a response from the ruling party. Only after the media highlighted the issue, the home minister opened his eyes. Congress will divulge the facts to the public even if police try to suppress information.”
Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who also hails from Mysuru district, said the government should ensure justice in the case. “We stand with the victim and her family during these difficult times. I urge the Chief Minister and Home Minister to ensure justice. Many crimes are being reported from Mysuru these days. Loots, attacks and chain snatching have become regular. People are more anxious about their safety and security. Keeping their internal party politics aside, the BJP government should worry about the citizens,” Siddaramaiah said.