Published: 04th July 2019
Dakshina Kannada police arrest five youth after rape video goes viral, ABVP says no connection to accused
Dakshina Kannada Superintendent of Police BM Laxmi Prasad has warned of suo-motu action against the people who share video of the incident or any such acts on social media
Five youths have been arrested for alleged gang rape of an 18-year-old college girl in Puttur. Police said the incident occurred in the last week of March this year and they came to know about it only after they saw a video being circulated on social media. The accused have been identified as Gurunandan, Prajwal, Kishan, Sunil and Prakhyath, all aged 19 and hail from Bantwal taluk. All of them are students of the same college, studying in different streams.
A release from the district police said that Sunil, one of the accused and college mate of the victim, took her for a drive in a car at around 3 pm, stating that he wanted to speak to her. Three more persons including the car driver and two of his friends Prajwal and Prakhyath were also inside the car. They drove the car to a secluded place, where they raped her. One of the accused recorded the incident using a cellphone.
After the incident, the accused threatened the victim with her life and said they will upload the video on internet if she revealed the matter before anybody else. The police are also trying to find out whether the girl was drugged before the gang rape. Sources said it is difficult to find out from medical tests whether she was drugged as the incident took place a while ago.
However, they are hoping to get a clear picture of the incident after taking the statement of the victim. SP said the victim mainatained she was not drugged before rape. Police said they are hopeful of arresting all the accused by Wednesday night.
Dakshina Kannada Superintendent of Police BM Laxmi Prasad has, meanwhile, warned of suo-motu action against the people who share video of the incident or any such acts on social media. He said sharing and storing such videos in phones/computers is an offense under 354C of IPC and 66E, 67A of IT Act and persons (including group admins) will be booked for the same.
DYFI demands action
Several student and other organisations have strongly condemned the gang rape and have demanded the authorities to take stern action against the culprits. In a release, the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) state president Muneer Katipalla said the people of the district are shocked by the incident and it has made civil society hang its head in shame.
Further, he has urged MPs Nalin Kumar Kateel and Shobha Karandlaje to focus on crime against women and drug mafia in the region. Muneer said it is shocking that such heinous crimes are on the rise in a region that is high in literacy rate and the fact that students are also involved in these crimes. Referring to reports about the victim being drugged before the crime by the accused who were also under the influence of narcotic drugs, he said the police have failed to curb the drug mafia in the district. He said the easy access to ganja and other narcotic drugs in the region had led to rise in the crime like rape and is also affecting the peace of the region. The government should take serious note of this, he urged. NSUI district general secretary Sawad Sullia also said the incident has shaken the district and especially the student community
ABVP says accused not their members
ABVP, the student arm of BJP, has refuted the allegations that the five students accused in the gang rape case in Puttur, were their members. In view of messages circulating in social media linking the accused to ABVP, the leaders of the organisation submitted a memorandum to SP BM Laxmi Prasad stating that their organisation is being defamed over the incident and that it has nothing to do with it. It also said that ABVP stands with the victim. SP Laxmi Prasad told TNIE that so far they have not established ABVP connection to the incident. He said they are not looking at that angle right now. If they find any lead in this angle during the course of investigation, then it will looked into.