VIZIANAGARAM: At a time when the nation has been witnessing protests seeking justice for the rape and murder of the eight-year-old girl from Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir, another gangrape of a 24-year-old physically challenged Dalit woman was reported from Nellimarla in Vizianagaram rural limits of north Andhra Pradesh.
Though the incident reportedly took place on Sunday evening, it came to light on Monday morning after the victim lodged a complaint. The police launched a manhunt for the accused. The victim is a resident of Pusapatirega in Vizianagaram district.
According to Vizianagaram (Rural) inspector D Lakshmana Rao, the victim in her statement mentioned that she boarded an auto-rickshaw at her native village at around 6 pm to reach Fort Junction in Vizianagaram. At around 7 pm, she boarded another auto at the junction to reach her sister's house at Phoolbhag.
When she boarded the auto-rickshaw, there were already two other persons in the vehicle. After reaching some distance, the auto driver turned his vehicle towards Nellimerla outskirts and when she was about to question him, the two other persons had gagged her mouth with a piece of cloth.
After taking the auto to an isolated place at Nellimerla between 7.30 pm and 8 pm, the two persons had allegedly raped her in the presence of the auto driver, the victim said in her complaint.
The police said that as per the victim, hearing her screams, a cyclist who was passing by ran to the auto and shouted at the accused, who noticing him fled pushing aside the woman. The cyclist took her to a nearby junction and helped her to board another auto and left for Pusapatirega.
After reaching home, the woman informed her family members about the incident who admitted her to the local PHC. On Monday morning, the victim lodged a complaint with Nellimerla police. Based on the victim's statement, the Nellimarla police registered a complaint under Section 376 of IPC and also under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
"Since the auto driver was present at the crime scene with an intention, we have booked a rape case against the three. We are yet to ascertain facts in the case. The identity of the accused is also yet to be ascertained. Teams have been constituted to solve the case," Lakshmana Rao told TNIE.
Sources said that the police are on the job to identify culprits and the auto with the help of CCTV footage. Crime records are also being perused to identify auto drivers with criminal records or history sheet on them.
6 pm: Victim boards auto-rickshaw at Pusapatirega.
7 pm: Victim disembarks at Fort Junction in Vizianagaram.
7.10 pm: The woman boards another auto for Phoolbagh.
7.30 pm to 8 pm: Woman allegedly raped on Nellimerla outskirts.
8.15 pm to 8.30 pm: She boards another auto with help of cyclist.
Monday: Victim lodges complaint with police.
Since the auto driver was present at the crime scene with an intention, we have booked a rape case against the three. We are yet to ascertain facts in the case. The identity of the accused is also yet to be ascertained. Teams have been constituted to solve the case
D Lakshmana Rao, Vizianagaram (Rural) Inspector.