VIZIANAGARAM : A 24-year-old physically-challenged Dalit woman was on Sunday gang-raped by two men while she was on her way to her sister’s house at Nellimarla in Vizianagaram rural limits. The incident came to light after the Pusapatirega resident lodged a police complaint on Monday. Vizianagaram (rural) inspector D Lakshmana Rao said the victim boarded an auto-rickshaw from her village to Fort Junction around 6 pm. An hour later she boarded another auto, which was already occupied by two men, to reach her sister’s house in Phoolbhag.
The girl called out the driver when she noticed that he had changed the course of the vehicle midway, but the men in the auto gagged her with a piece of cloth. The auto was halted on the outskirts of Nellimerla where the two men took turns raping her even as the auto driver stood watching, the woman said in her complaint. A passerby stopped on hearing her screams and shouted to scare off the accused. He then took the woman to a junction nearby and helped her board an auto to Pusapatirega.
The woman informed her family members about the incident after which they admitted her to the local PHC. They lodged a complaint with the Nellimerla Police the next day. The unidentified accused have been booked under IPC Section 376 and also under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. “Since the auto driver was present at the crime scene and intended to rape her, we have charged all the accused with rape. 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. Rao said the three accused would be identified with the help of CCTV footage.