Three men accused of abducting and raping a Keralite Manipal University medical student are in police custody with two of them ending up in hospital after suicide attempts.
Police first arrested two of the accused on Thursday morning. After he realised that his arrest was imminent, accused Yogish Poojary, 30, an autorickshaw driver from Onthibettu near Manipal, consumed poison. Immediately after the arrest, police managed to take his brief statement before his health deteriorated. He was then admitted to Kasturba Hospital, Manipal. Police also arrested his accomplice Hariprasad Poojary, 27, an auto driver and native of Badagubettu, Manipal.
Later at night, police took the third accused Anand into custody in an unconscious condition from a forest in 80 Badagubettu village and admitted him to Kasturba Hospital. His condition is critical. Fearing arrest, Anand had attempted suicide by hanging from a tree. He is also said to have consumed poison. IGP Pratap Reddy said Yogish was a history-sheeter and involved in a rioting case. “All the three were friends and drunk. They were on a jolly ride on that night and by chance picked up that girl. After the crime, Yogish alone dropped her in the auto at her apartment.” He said the preliminary inquiry also showed that all the three accused were involved in the crime.
Narrating the sequence of the arrest, Reddy said, “We had suspected Yogish for the past three days and were trying to take him into custody. Today (Thursday) after his arrest was certain, he (Yogish) called on my cellphone and confessed to the crime. He said he himself was responsible for the crime and that he was certain the police would nab him. He even narrated the scene of the crime and said he would commit suicide. His voice was shaky. It seemed he was vomiting. Police immediately traced his location using his mobile network and with the help of the locals. He was picked from a bushy area near Onthibettu.”
The IGP also requested the media not to carry the photograph of the accused, pending identification by the victim, as it would hamper the judicial process. The IGP, based on preliminary interrogation of the arrested, ruled out a possibility of recording the scene of sexual assault on their mobile phones. He said the spot from where the victim was abducted and the site where the sexual assault actually took place were not those that the police had earler perceived. The crime took place around six km away from Manipal.
The IGP said cash reward of Rs 2 lakh and Rs 3 lakh announced by the police and Manipal University respectively would would be shared among a few, who provided vital information.