KARAIKAL: On Christmas eve, a 20-year-old woman was abducted by three men and raped by one of them in Karaikal in the Union territory of puducherry. Within minutes after she was let off by them, another group of seven men abducted her and six of them took turns to rape her. Police rescued the woman following a tip off from her friend and arrested 10 people.
Police said Smitha, working in a computer firm in Tamil Nadu, had accompanied her friend Rani to Karaikal to meet the latter’s boyfriend on December 24.
A 17-year-old boy known to Rani joined them when they went sight seeing. Rani complained of uneasiness and her boyfriend took them to a friend’s house in the town. Smitha suggested that they refresh themselves and return home soon.
She told the police that a gang of three men, who were watching them, abducted her on finding her alone. They took her to a secluded place and one of them raped her. They let her off later.
Smitha made desperate attempts to contact her friend, and the youth and the minor managed to locate her. When they were escorting her to a safe place, another gang of seven men assaulted the two and abducted her. After taking her to another secluded place, six of them took took turns to rape her.
The youth and minor boy along with their local friends launched a hunt for the abducted woman. Their friends managed to spot a member of the second gang and attacked him. On learning that their aide had been attacked, the gang reached the spot and soon a group clash broke out. A local resident alerted the police. A team reached the spot and managed to detain three of the men and later arrested seven more. A few of the men are absconding.
Senior superintendent of police (Karaikal) Monika Bahardwaj, who took the statement from the victim, said police have launched a full-fledged investigation to ascertain the veracity of her claims. Sub-inspector Venkatachalapathy and head constable Sabapathy have been suspended for lapses in handling the incident.
Police have identified 13 people and arrested 10 of them. Jaganathan, Manikandan, Faisal and one more unidentified man were absconding.
Three of the arrested 10 people were the victim’s friends, who were booked on charges of not alerting police about the crime. The other arrested were identified as Irfan, Nasir, Amir, Akbar, Iqbal, Kasim and Yusuf.
Police registered cases against 14 people under IPC sections 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person), 376 – 2 (g) (punishment for rape – commits rape during communal or sectarian violence), 202 (intentional omission to give information of offence by person bound to inform) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation).
(Names have been changed to protect identity)