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Teen helps police bust snake gang that raped 37

Hyderabad, Aug. 28: Her rapists came armed with venom, but their 18-year-old victim had enough valour left to hit back.

Hyderabad police have arrested a gang of seven rapists, suspected to have violated at least 37 women by first terrorising them into submission with a live snake, after the spunky teen, their latest victim, filed a complaint.

It triggered a flood of similar complaints after the police assured the victims of complete confidentiality.

The police have also seized video clippings of the serial rapes that the “snake gang” filmed, so confident the accused were of getting away. Thirty-six times they did, before the girl de-fanged the gang led by Faisal Dayyani, the snake catcher.

The teen was with her fiance last week at a farmhouse on the outskirts of Pahari Sharif — a hilly area in the old city of Hyderabad — when the group of seven broke in after beating up the security guard.

Her fiance, the son of a businessman, was also beaten up. The men then pulled out a 6ft-long snake to ensure that the girl didn’t fight back. Four of the men then took turns to rape her before the gang escaped with Rs 60,000 in cash and valuables.

Police sources said the snake gang of Pahari Sharif had been doing this since 2011, targeting women or couples who strayed into the interiors of hillocks for a moment of privacy or stayed the night in nearby guesthouses. While the serpent was their weapon of terror, the video clippings were their instruments of blackmail to ensure that the victims stayed away from the police.

Cyberabad commissioner C.V. Anand said the rapists filmed their assault on the 18-year-old, too, and threatened to release the video online if she went to the police. But the threat didn’t stop her.

The police, who raided the area after her complaint, have seized some of the clippings. “We have seized such video clippings from their mobiles and CDs at their homes which are now evidences,” said R. Sudershan, the local ACP who is handling the case.

Police sources said the gang even held kangaroo courts to settle land disputes in isolated areas. Faisal, the kingpin, is said to have the backing of some political leaders

The gangsters were so sure about their political connections that they had even filmed some of the kangaroo courts they held, the sources said.