Five held for raping tribal woman, 9 more for trying to hush it up in Hyderabad
The Rachakonda police on Sunday arrested five men for allegedly gang-raping a tribal woman for three consecutive days in a room and thrashing her husband who was confined in an adjacent room near Tukkuguda village on the outskirts of Hyderabad 10 days ago.
The police also arrested nine others who allegedly tried to hush up the issue by paying compensation to the couple and forcibly getting their signatures on blank paper.
According to Rachakonda police commissioner Mahesh Bhagawat, the victim and her husband, both farm labourers, came to Harshaguda in search of work four months ago. They got work for a monthly salary of Rs 15,000 at a poultry farm belonging to Mucha Prashanth Reddy.
A few days ago, Reddy got suspicious that the couple was feeding less food to hens and selling the remaining feed to other poultry farms with the help of another person Suresh.
On September 18, he, along with four others, took the couple to a poultry farm at Tukkuguda, on the pretext that they needed to clean the farm which was damaged due to recent rain.
“On reaching the poultry farm, Reddy and others confined the woman to a room and her husband in the adjacent room. They allegedly gang raped the tribal woman. When she shouted for help, they beat her with sticks, rods and belts. They also thrashed her husband locked up in the other room,” the police said.
It was only when the woman admitted to having committed the theft of poultry feed and disclosed the name of Suresh, did the accused release her and her husband on September 21 morning. They also summoned Suresh and attacked him with rods and belts, the police said.
The accused threatened to kill them, if they lodged any complaint with the police. However, Reddy and his four accomplices felt that they would be in trouble if the victims approached the police. “So, they made an attempt to compromise with the tribal couple and Suresh. They approached nine villagers in Harshaguda village to settle the issue and handed over an amount of Rs 2.50 lakh, of which Rs 1.02 lakh was to be paid to the couple and the remaining Rs 1.30 lakh to Suresh’s father Raju,” Bhagawat said.
Of the amount, the nine villagers spent around Rs 15,000 on partying and offered the remaining money to the victims as compensation and forced them to sign the blank paper stating that they would not go to the police.
“However, the couple did not accept the money and approached the Pahadishareef police to lodge a complaint on September 26,” the commissioner said.
The police, who took up the investigation, arrested Prashant Reddy (30) and his four accomplices - Mucha Anil Reddy, 26, R Bharath, 26, Devarshetty Pavan Kumar, 29, and Cikkimpuri Hanmanthu, 25, who had raped the tribal woman and physically assaulted her husband.
The nine men, who attempted to bury the matter by getting the victim and her husband to sign on papers, were Varthya Ravinder, 37, Bhavani Venkat Reddy, 51, Jatavath Ravinder alias Ravi Naik, 32, Charalapally Yadaiah, 41, Jarpula Raju, 32, Baygari Suresh, 35, Anugu Lokesh, 33, Megavath Vijay Kumar alias Vijay Naik, 43, and Mucha Janardhan Reddy, 43. Another accused in the case, Chandrashekar Reddy, is absconding, the police said.
“Cases were booked against the accused under various sections of IPC including kidnapping, rape, criminal intimidation, assault, illegal confinement etc. Further investigation is on,” the police commissioner said.