Hyderabad: The Rachakonda police on Sunday arrested five men for assaulting and raping a tribal woman in Pahadi Shareef a week ago, and nine others who tried to hush up the issue by forcibly taking signatures from the victims.
Police officials said the accused claimed that the woman and her husband used to pilfer chicken feed from the poultry farm of their employer – prime accused Prasad Reddy — and supply it to the owner of a rival farm. This incensed Prasad, who committed the atrocity on the couple out of vengeance. The first-five accused were identified as Mucha Prasanth Reddy alias Prasad Reddy, 30, Mucha Anil Reddy, 26, R Bharath, 26, Devarshetty Pavan Kumar, 29, and Cikkimpuri Hanmanthu, 25, who had raped the woman and physically assaulted her.
The accused used filthy language and abused her by her caste name, and also beat the husband with belts and pipes. They were allowed to go with several warnings and threats after the couple gave them Suresh’s name—MAHESH BHAGWAT, Rachakonda Police Commissioner
ACCUSED ATTEMPTED TO BURY THE MATTER
The other nine men, who attempted to bury the matter by getting the victim and her husband sign on papers, were Varthya Ravinder, 37, Bhavani Venkat Reddy, 51, Jatavath Ravinder alias Ravi Naik, 32, Charalapally Yadaiah, 41, Jarpula Raju, 32, Baygari Suresh, 35, Anugu Lokesh, 33, Megavath Vijay Kumar alias Vijay Naik, 43, and Mucha Janardhan Reddy, 43. Another accused in the case, Chandrashekar Reddy, is absconding. The victim, a Nagar Kurnool resident, and her husband Chandu, had migrated to Maheshwaram recently.
The couple took up work at a poultry farm belonging to prime accused Prasad Reddy, said Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat. Reddy incurred a loss in the business because the couple was supplying bags of chicken feed to Suresh, who is from another poultry farm.
WOMAN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED
The woman was sexually assaulted for three days from September 18 night to September 21. The woman and her husband Chandu later managed to escape, and eventually contacted the Rachakonda police a week later on Friday. Reddy had hired the couple in May to work at the poultry farm for a combined salary of Rs 15,000.
Police said Prasad Reddy first took them to a building and confined the woman and her husband in separate rooms. “She was beaten up with sticks, pipes, rods, and belts before being raped repeatedly. The accused used filthy language and abused her by her caste name, and also beat the husband with belts and pipes. They were allowed to go with several warnings and threats after the couple gave them Suresh’s name,” the Commissioner said.
Soon after, the gang of five picked up Suresh and beat him up brutally. On realising the extent of their crime, Prasad Reddy later offered Rs 2.50 lakh to the three persons the victim, her husband, and Suresh, and asked them to stay away from police.
Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat said, “The amount was first handed to the panchayat heads, Ravinder, Venkat Reddy, Ravi Naik, Yadaiah, Raju, Suresh, Lokesh, Vijay Kumar, and Janardhan Reddy, who asked the couple and Suresh to accept it and sign a document stating that they would not go to the police.”
MATTER TO THE COURT
However, they declined to accept the cash and stated they wanted to report the matter to the police and got to court. They were then threatened and made to sign papers against their will. Of the ‘blood money’, Rs 1.02 lakh was given to the victim and Chandu, and Rs 1.30 lakh to Suresh’s father Raju, police said.
The accused were arrested and charged for sexual assault, rape, battery, kidnapping and other crimes under relevant sections of the IPC.
Authored by Mohammed Hussain, firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @writetohussain