A 22-year-old call centre employee was abducted and raped by two men inside a minibus in Bengaluru, an incident that revived horrific memories of the fatal assault on a paramedical student in the national capital nearly three years ago.
Police arrested the accused Yogesh, 27, and Sunil, 23, on Tuesday and said both men had confessed to the crime. The men approached the victim waiting at the Madiwala bus stop around 9.45 pm on Saturday and dragged her into the mini bus, with nobody around to help.
The bus stop is a few kilometres away from Kormangala, one of Bengaluru’s main party districts that is known to have a large police presence. But there was no police patrol deployed near the bus stop.
Police commissioner NS Megharik said at a press conference on Tuesday that pictures of the accused, both bus driver hailing from Chikmagalur, were not being released as the victim was yet to identify them.
The 22-year-old BPO employee was frustrated after waiting for a long time for a bus to arrive at the bus stop. She got into the minibus driven by Yogesh in a moment of indiscretion, police said.
She was waiting at the bus stop with another friend who even warned her against getting into the vehicle. Brushing aside the advice, the victim got in saying that her paying-guest accommodation was just a few kilometres down the road.
She realised she was in trouble when the bus sped past the spot where she wanted to get off. Her screams for help were drowned out when her captors, both heavily inebriated, started playing loud music. They took her to a desolate spot, raped her at knifepoint until 2 am and then drove back to a spot close to her place, police said.
The accused warned the victim against alerting the police and took away her mobile phone SIM card before escaping. Police had already launched a search for her by the time she was released as her roommates had filed a missing complaint. Police found her when they were alerted by doctors of a private hospital where she was taken by some other friends of hers for treatment.
Describing it as a “blind case”, Megharik said the victim, who moved to the city just three months ago, couldn’t identify the spot where she was raped or the route her rapists took. “All she could remember were some digits of the vehicle’s number plate and that the rapists stopped at a construction site,” Megharik said.
Asked if police were willing to take some responsibility for the incident given that Saturday nights are when policemen are out in full force, Megharik told reporters, “I leave it to your judgement.”
The December 2012 gang-rape of a 23-year-old paramedical student by six men had shocked the entire world with its brutality. The crime led to a new law that provides for a life term and even death sentence for rape convicts.
Four of the convicts in the Delhi gang-rape case are on death row while one was found dead in jail in a suspected suicide. The sixth accused – a juvenile when he was arrested – is set to be released from a reform home by the end of the year.