Hyderabad gang rape: Opposition alleges attempt to shield culprits

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Hyderabad gang rape: Opposition alleges attempt to shield culprits

Hyderabad: The gang rape of a 17-year-old girl by five accused, including the son of a leader of ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), has kicked up a storm with the opposition launching a fierce attack on the government for alleged attempts to shield the culprits.

A day after the BJP staged a protest at Jubilee Hills police station, leaders and workers of Jana Sena also staged a sit-in, leading to their arrests.

The protestors demanded immediate arrest and stringent punishment to all the accused. Raising slogans, they demanded justice for the victim.

Security was tightened around the police station in anticipation of more protests by the opposition parties.

The BJP reiterated its allegation that the TRS government is trying to shield the culprits in the May 28 incident. Its MLA M. Raghunandan Rao disputed the police claim that the crime was committed in Innova vehicle and alleged that the sexual assault happened in Mercedes car belonging to the family of a MIM MLA.

He alleged that the police were trying to derail the investigation by protecting the MIM lawmaker’s son and his friends who were inside the Mercedes.

The BJP MLA also showed photographs and videos purported to be that of the MLA’s son in a compromising position with the victim in the car.

He said the police may claim that the girl has given her consent for the sexual act but since she is minor giving consent doesn’t hold as per the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

The MLA cautioned the police against tampering with the CCTV footage and other evidence and said he would submit all the evidence available to him to the court at an appropriate time.

Police were reportedly trying to find out how the photographs and videos of the accused reached the BJP MLA.

Meanwhile, police have warned that action would be taken against those circulating photographs and videos which may lead to disclosure of the victim’s identity.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Joel Davis appealed to media to stop revealing direct or indirect content related to the victim which may lead to the identification of the victim.

The police official had told media on Friday night that the victim’s statement and other evidence show that MLA’s son was not involved.

The police have so far arrested three accused including two juveniles in the case and were on lookout for two other accused including a juvenile.

A delegation of BJP leaders called on Director General of Police M. Mahender Reddy on Saturday and demanded that the case be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation. They alleged that since children of influential persons were involved in the crime, there was a delay in the investigation.

Ramchandra Rao, who was part of the delegation, said rape culture along with pub culture was growing in Hyderabad. He said BJP wants a safe Hyderabad.

Congress Legislature Party leader Bhatti Vikramarka also alleged that Hyderabad has become a hub of drugs. Slamming the government for treating liquor as a source of revenue, he remarked that Telangana state was not achieved for indiscriminate sale of liquor.

He questioned the delay in investigating gang rape case. The Congress leader alleged that the law and order situation in the state was not under control. He criticised the police for not allowing women leaders of the Congress from meeting Home Minister Mahmood Ali.

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