A student who was sexually assaulted, allegedly by two of her seniors at an engineering college in Andhra Pradesh, was blackmailed for sexual favours for more than a year by the accused who threatened to make a video of the assault viral if she informed anyone, police have said.
When the victim resisted their demands, the accused, P Krishna Vamsi and K Shiva Reddy, then final-year students at NRI Institute of Technology, showed the video to their classmates, said police officers. “Until Krishna and Shiva passed out last June, they tormented the victim daily. They threatened to release the video on social media if she did not satisfy their lust. Even after passing out, they tormented her by calling her from different numbers. The victim kept quiet out of fear,’’ an officer at Agiripalli Police Station said.
Police on Saturday arrested Krishna and Shiva on charges of raping the junior student and filming the act. They have also arrested D Pravin Kumar, a friend of the two accused with whom they shared the video, for allegedly blackmailing the victim for sexual favours and demanding Rs 10 lakh from her father.
Police may also book officials of NRI Institute of Technology for failing to report the crime even after coming to know about it. When contacted, authorities at the college refused to comment on the matter.
The victim has stated in her complaint that Krishna invited her to his birthday party at a hotel in Nuzvid. He had told her that others were invited, but on reaching the room, she found only Krishna and Shiva, she has stated. When she asked where the others were, they gave her a soft drink and told that others were on their way, she stated. The victim has said that after consuming the drink, she passed out and when she regained consciousness, she realised she was sexually assaulted. “They showed her the video and threatened to make it viral if she informed anyone. She got scared,” Agiripalli Circle Inspector Y Naidu said.
Emboldened by the victim’s silence and because she resisted their demands for sexual favours, the youths started boasting about their act and showed the video to their friends in the college, police said. The victim came to know about this in May 2017 and informed her parents about the incident. Fearing that a police case would tarnish her image, her parents complained against the youths to the college management.
“The college management did not inform police out of fear that the institute’s reputation would be spoilt. They summoned the two youths, told them to delete the video and let them off with a warning. The youths gave an undertaking that they had deleted the videos. We are taking legal opinion on whether the college officials can be held accountable. We will book them if necessary,” Nuzvid Division Deputy S P G V Prasad said.
According to police, after passing out last June, Krishna used a software to retrieve the deleted video. Krishna and Shiva got together last December at Vijayawada where they joined a coaching institute to prepare for civil services exams. They shared the video with their friend Pravin who lives near the victim’s house, said police. “About a month ago, Pravin called the victim, demanded sexual favours and threatened to circulate the video on social media if she did not agree. He also contacted the victim’s father and demanded Rs 10 lakh. Unable to bear the harassment, the victim lodged a complaint Wednesday,’’ CI Naidu said.
Police have registered a case against the three arrested youths under sections 376, 376-B and 354 of the IPC and sections of IT Act.