A 25-year-old tribal girl was allegedly raped by the helper of an air-conditioned luxury bus in which she was travelling, police on Tuesday said.
The accused identified as Susanta Hembram has been arrested for allegedly raping the tribal girl, resident of Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, in the moving bus on Sunday night when other passengers were fast asleep, they said.
In her complaint, the victim alleged that Hembram raped her in the rear seat of the private bus en route Jagatpur near Cuttack, between 3 to 3.30 AM when there were only few passengers and all of them were asleep, City DCP S Praveen Kumar said.
Hembram is believed to be an acquaintance of the victim,who works as a domestic help in Jagatpur, on the outskirts of Cuttack city.
The incident came to light when the girl was rescued by some people at Gatiroutpatna, about 5 km from Cuttack on Cuttack-Jagatsinghpur road yesterday.
The Mahila police station of the city after registering a case sent both the accused and the victim for medical examination on the day. A police scientific team is also assisting the city police in investigating the case.
The State Transport Commissioner Surendra Kumar informed that the permit of the passenger bus in which the crime was committed has been cancelled.
"It is one of the primary duties of the bus staff to ensure that the passengers boarding the buses travel safely and reach their destinations unharmed," Kumar said.
Meanwhile, the Private Bus Owners' Association condemning the incident has demanded that stringent punishment should be given to the bus helper and urged the bus owners to ensure that the credentials of the persons are verified properly before they are recruited to perform duties in the buses plying at night.