BENGALURU: In an incident that once again raises serious questions about the policing of the city's parks and open spaces, a minor girl was abducted, kept in confinement, allegedly for over three days and was gang-raped by a gang in Hebbal. The Hebbal police have arrested a cab driver and two of his friends who allegedly abducted the 15-year-old on the pretext of offering her a long drive and gang-raped her in an isolated place in the outskirts of the city on Tuesday.
The accused have been identified as Joseph (20), a daily wage labourer, known to the rape victim, Santhosh (22) an auto driver, and Subash, owner cum driver of a cab. All three were residents of Kodigehalli, the police said. The minor in her statement to the police stated that on July 22, Sunday evening she had gone to Kodigehalli Park. The 15-year-old girl said that she had gone to the park to play and while she was there, the sister of Joseph, one of the accused, who was also known to the girl and was a former neighbor of hers, came to the park on Sunday evening at about 4.30 p.m.
According to the girl, Joseph along with his friends asked for sexual favours from her. She said she rebuffed them and tried to raise an alarm. Seeing the girl shouting for help, Joseph along with others forcibly dragged her into the auto-rickshaw, gagged her and later took her to city's outskirts, where the gang took turns to rape her. Meanwhile when she didn't return, her father lodged a missing complaint with Hebbal police on July 24th. According to the first information report, the father of the minor went in search of her on Sunday night when she didn't return home.
At the park, he learnt that she had come to the park but from there went to a friend's house following which he returned home. When the minor didn't return that night, the father lodged a missing complaint. As the girl was a minor, a kidnap case was also registered, on July 24. According to Deputy Commissioner of Police, North Division, Chetan Singh Rathore, "The accused had threatened the 15-year-old that they would kill her and her family if, she did not co-operate. Joseph was known to her as they were residents of Kodigehalli, and the rapist and his family had stayed in that area, until two months ago. She went missing on July 22 evening but the missing plaint was registered on July 24.
The perpetrators left her at the same spot on July 25 and on July 26 , the police registered a gang rape case. She will be produced before the magistrate on Monday to record her statement. And, if she mentions more details about the gang rape we will take the course of action, needed."
After obtaining information from the girl about Joseph and Subash's car, the police picked up all the three accused and interrogated them thoroughly. The trio confessed to their crime. The three have been booked for rape and several sections under POCSO Act, produced before a magistrate who remanded them to judicial custody. When asked about the poor patrolling in the area and the miscreants preying on victims and forcibly dragging them from parks frequented by both old and young, a senior police official said that the patrolling is being done in the city regularly and rigorously. "As far as the parks are concerned, there is a mandate that there should be a security guard, to keep a check," he added.
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