Police sources suspect that a gang prowling in the Jnana Bharathi campus is attacking couples and trying to sexually abuse women in isolated places.
The current direction of investigation into the alleged gang-rape of a 21-year-old law student is leading the police to believe in such a possibility.
A police source said that just a week before the student was allegedly gang-raped, a gang had allegedly tried to drag a woman who had come with her male companion in an autorickshaw to the same spot, into the woods. However, the miscreants’ bid was thwarted as some passersby came to her rescue.
“We strongly suspect the role of a gang that is involved in sandalwood smuggling from the campus. Since they know that couples seeking privacy visit the campus late in the evenings and since they know the geography of the campus, they try to take advantage of the situation,” the source said.
“A middle-aged woman had come with her male friend to the campus. The gang attacked them and assaulted her friend. When they tried to drag her into the woods, passersby came to her rescue,” the source said.
He added that a special branch constable attached to the Jnana Bharathi police station got information and immediately rushed to the spot. “As he tried to enter the woods alone, the miscreants threw a knife at him, forcing him to return. The couple did not file a complaint. But the incident came to light during the investigation of Saturday’s alleged gang rape case,” the source said.
“We have questioned several people working at sawmills around the area and are also trying to identify the smugglers,” the source added.