Protests in Hyderabad over rape of student

20-year-old was allegedly drugged and tortured for 17 months by college canteen owner

05 Gulf News

Hyderabad: Youth in Hyderabad have taken to streets and social networking sites to protest against police inaction in the alleged rape of a 20-year-old engineering student for nearly 17 months.

Satya Prakash Singh, 34, a native of Bihar — the owner of the canteen at TRR engineering college at Meerpet — allegedly drugged the victim and forcibly held her at his apartment for more than a year, media reports said.

The victim, in her statement - a copy of which was made available online - alleges that she was drugged by Singh on April 3, 2012, and taken to his apartment in Almasguda, Meerpet, where she was tortured for a month.

“I was raped, tortured and drugged by him for one month in a room in his flat. Whenever I become conscious, I shouted for help. Then he would threaten to kill me and torture me more,” she said.

The victim alleges was moved to another apartment in the same area after the owner of the house became suspicious about Singh’s activities.

She says police were informed after she took advantage of Singh’s absence and called her mother from his mobile phone.

The case came to light on September 6 and went viral on social networking sites. Most users were angered by police’s failure to nab the accused, despite the victim’s parents registering an official complaint.

Police officials said that they had arrested Singh but let him off after questioning. “We took him into custody after we were alerted. He did not admit that he had kidnapped her,” Santoshnagar inspector K.V.M. Prasad said, as quoted in a media report.

The victim’s family, however, alleges that Singh was let off because of his brother who is an influential man.

“We have started a probe checking all the allegations of the victim. The accused has been arrested and sent to judicial custody. More facts will come out after a detailed investigation,” Prasad said.

The victim said she escaped when the accused fell asleep after getting drunk.

“After lunch, he raped me and slept off. As the door was open I ran out of the house,” she said.

Singh alleges that the victim was in love and had thus eloped with him.

Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslemeen chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi — reacting to online fury questioning the party’s inaction in the case — said that the matter was being investigated and that the accused would be dealt with in the harshest possible manner, if found guilty.

Meanwhile, in another case, police on Monday were interrogating a school bus cleaner after his arrest on suspicion of raping a four-year-old in the vehicle on the outskirts of Mumbai earlier this month.

The 26-year-old was arrested at the weekend after the girl told her parents of the incident more than a week after it occurred on September 6, police said.

News of the assault comes days after four men were sentenced to death last week over the fatal gang-rape of a student in the capital New Delhi in December, a brutal attack that led to weeks of protests and outrage over the treatment of women and girls in India.

“The cleaner called her to the back seat on the pretext of showing her some tricks. He then caught the girl and raped her,” said inspector S.K. Mohite at the local Badlapur police station.

The girl screamed and her friend went to help her, but the man threatened to kill them if they reported the matter to the school, the inspector said.

“There was no woman attendant on the bus at that time,” he added.

Mohite said the girl has undergone medical examination and doctors confirmed she was sexually assaulted.

“Medical details and investigations into the cleaner’s past are being gathered,” he added.