“They poured whiskey into her mouth to…”
NDTV: Four men who raped a 26-year-old woman before strangling and setting her on fire near Hyderabad on Wednesday night planned the gruesome assault in the evening when they saw her park her scooter near a toll booth, police documents accessed by NDTV have said. The incident has led to huge protests in Telangana and a massive outpouring of anger across the country. The accused, aged between 20 and 26, have been arrested and three policemen have been suspended for negligence.
According to the remand report based on the statements of the four accused, the men punctured one of the tyres of the woman’s two-wheeler after she parked it and took a taxi to visit a dermatologist around 6:15 pm. The men, identified as Mohammad Areef, Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen and Chintakunta Chennakesavulu who worked as truck drivers and assistants, drank whiskey before attacking the woman.
When she returned around 9:15 pm, the men approached the woman, pretending to help her. They told the police that they saw her speaking on phone. After that, three of them forced her into a bush near the toll gate and switched off her phone. As the woman kept screaming for help, the men forced whiskey down into her mouth to silence her, the police report said.
The four men then undressed her and took turns to rape her till she fell unconscious and started bleeding. When she started coming back to her senses, the men smothered her to death. They wrapped the body in a blanket, loaded it onto the truck and carried it 27 km away. They placed it under a bridge and set it on fire with petrol around 2:30 am, the police have found.
The remand report also said that the one of the accused, who was a truck driver, did not have a license for the last two years. His truck was stopped by the authorities just a day before since it did not have valid papers. But the truck was not seized as he removed a cable used to start the vehicle.
The incident has triggered criticism of Telangana police, who allegedly dithered when approached by the woman’s family around 10 pm. The family says they were sent from one police station to another and had to finally go look for her around 3 am.
The family told NDTV the police somehow seemed to have presumed that the young woman had gone away voluntarily.
Union Minister of State for Home Kishan Reddy said the police had adopted a casual attitude instead of having a sense of urgency that could have possibly saved the life of the 26-year-old veterinarian.
“No one can be turned away from the police station like that. We will make it compulsory for every police station to accept a complaint. The FIR can be filed later; first they should have helped to search the girl,” Mr Reddy told NDTV.