Karnataka: Two arrested in Dalit woman case are alleged members of Bajrang Dal

Shivamogga: Two men who were arrested on Thursday on charges of allegedly stripping and attempting to rape a Dalit woman in Araga village near Thirthahalli town in Shivamogga district are allegedly active members of the Hindutva group, Bajrang Dal, new investigations reveal.

The men – Sampath and Adarsh – who were arrested by the Thirthahalli police were hiding in Shirasi town of Uttara Kannada district.

There were four members who committed the heinous crime, out of which two are arrested and the police are on the lookout for the other two.

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A Dalit woman was returning home from a hospital along with her husband in their two-wheeler on Monday night when the four accused rammed their bike and unleashed their brutality.

In her complaint, the woman stated that after being hit by the bike, her husband lost consciousness as he suffered a head injury. The accused, who was inebriated, then stripped the woman. On hearing her cries for help, locals rushed to the spot and rescued the couple.

Shivamogga SP Lakshmiprasad has stated that on the basis of the complaint, an FIR had been lodged against four persons. The police have clamped IPC Section 341 (wrongful restraint), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 353 (assault to deter public servant from discharging duty), 354a (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354b (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe), 506 (criminal intimidation) and the Atrocity Act. He maintained that the police department has formed a special team and the accused would be arrested soon.

However, sources said that the preliminary investigation suggested that the incident had taken place when the victim had gone to a wine shop with her husband. The youths who objected to bringing the woman to the liquor shop assaulted her husband and allegedly stripped her.

Both the victim and her husband were treated in a hospital in Thirthahalli town. The police are verifying the charges of attempting to rape and strip the woman.

(With IANS inputs)

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