Hyderabad police on Sunday arrested one more accused, the fourth one in the sensational gang-rape case while the search was on for the fifth accused person.
Third juvenile in the case was apprehended on Sunday, taking the number of arrests so far to four, police said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Joel Davis said that in continuation of arrest of three accused earlier, one CCL (Child in Conflict with Law) was apprehended by Jubilee Hills police on Sunday.
He said the CCL was being produced before the Juvenile Court for their safe custody. “So far out of 5 accused persons determined, one major accused and 3 juveniles are apprehended and efforts are on to apprehend the remaining. Further investigation is in progress,” the DCP said.
Saduddin Malik (18) was arrested on Friday while two accused, both juveniles were arrested on Saturday. The second major accused Omair Khan (18) is still at large.
The accused had allegedly gang raped a 17-year-old girl in a car on May 28. One of the juveniles involved is the son of a leader of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), who heads a government-run minority body.
The horrific crime was committed by the accused after promising lift to the victim, who was returning home after attending a party at a pub on the evening of May 28.
Since the accused were not known to the victim and the crime was reported three days later, the accused escaped to other places. However, the police did not share details like the places from where the accused were picked.
The DCP had exuded confidence on Friday night that police would arrest all the accused within 48 hours.
The police official refused to reveal the location where the offence took place, saying this would reveal the identity of the victim. He, however, said the accused left in a car from the pub and stopped at a pastry shop enroute. There they left the car and boarded another vehicle.
The police investigation revealed that after committing the crime, the accused dropped the victim back near the pub. She called her father, who picked her up but suspected something untoward happened to her as there were bruises on her neck.
On May 31, the victim’s father approached police saying his daughter went to day-time non-alcoholic party and suspected that molestation might have taken place there. He told police that the girl is in a state of shock and is not able to talk.
Based on the complaint, police registered a case under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections 9 and 10 of Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and started investigation. “As per the Standard Operating Procedure, the next day after counseling the victim child, police sent her to Bharosa Centre where lady officials made her comfortable and gave her confidence. It was only the next day she revealed what happened and recorded her statement,” the DCP said
Based on the victim’s statement, police altered the case to section 376D of IPC and section 5 and 6 of POCSO Act and since there were bruises on the victim, Section 323 of IPC was also added.
On the direction of the City Police Commissioner, various teams were constituted which started collecting details. “The victim was not in a position to reveal the identity of the accused as they were not known to her earlier. Based on CCTV footage and other technical evidence it was corroborated with the victim’s statement we identified five accused, two of them major and three aged 16-17,” he said.
There have been allegations by leaders of the opposition BJP that grandson of state home minister and son of an MIM MLA were also involved.
The police officer termed as ‘100 per cent baseless’ the allegations about the home minister’s grandson’s involvement. He also said neither the victim’s statement nor other evidence gathered so far show that MLA’s son was involved.
The police officer, however, said the investigations were on and once the victim is in a position to give a detailed statement and if something comes out during investigation about involvement of others, action will be taken accordingly.
Giving a new twist to the case, BJP MLA Raghunandan Rao on Saturday released photographs and video purported to be that of MLA’s son in compromising position with the victim in a car. He alleged that police were trying to shield the MLA’s son.