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HindustanTimes Sat,12 Jul 2014

Rape accused Punjabi duo pleads not guilty in Oz court

IANS  Sydney, October 22, 2013
First Published: 18:23 IST(22/10/2013) | Last Updated: 21:24 IST(22/10/2013)

Two Punjabi men Tuesday pleaded not guilty in an Australian court to charges of abduction and rape of a woman.

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Ajitpal Singh, 31, and Randhir Singh, 20, in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) magistrates court pleaded not guilty to charges of rape, abduction, unlawful confinement, and committing acts of indecency, the Canberra Times reported.

The court heard that a third man involved in the case fled to India earlier this month.

One of the accused, Randhir Singh, met the woman on a social networking site Tango's chat application, and requested the victim to meet at Kippax Fair shopping centre in Canberra on September 26.

After she arrived at the shopping centre, he allegedly blackmailed the woman, saying he would show the message to her husband, when she refused to go with him. He also threatened her about her child's safety and welfare.

She was allegedly sexually assaulted on the drive from Kippax to Belconnen and in an apartment on Chandler Street by three men inside the flat.

The court heard that the incident was photographed and was allegedly used to coerce the woman to perform further sexual acts.

They allegedly threatened the victim that if she ignored their proposal then the photographs would be shown to her husband.

Magistrate Peter Dingwall deferred the bail application of the two accused until their immigration status could be confirmed.

The court also heard that the woman did not know the men and details of how they discovered information about her.

According to the report, Australian Immigration Department had cancelled Ajitpal Singh's visa and he would be taken to Villawood detention centre, if released on bail.

Randhir Singh's student visa is under review.

The next hearing of the case will be in next week.

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