Five labourers allegedly involved in the rape of a college student near Mysuru earlier this week have been arrested, Karnataka DG and IGP Praveen Sood said on Saturday.
The five, who frequented Mysuru often, are from the "labour class" doing jobs like wiring, carpentry and driving, he said, adding, they hailed from Tirupur in Tamil Nadu.
"As per preliminary interrogation, one of them is a juvenile -- a 17-year-old -- subject to confirmation", he said.
The sixth one is absconding.
They accosted the college student and her male friend near the Chamundi foothills on the outskirts of Mysuru on August 24 and tried to rob them. When they did not succeed, they allegedly assaulted him and raped her, police sources said. "It's a case of robbery first", Sood said, adding, the culprits also demanded Rs three lakh but declined to go into details. However, he said there was no blackmail angle to the incident so far.
Sood said the arrested used to come to Mysuru for some work with their friends to Bandipalya APMC yard, a wholesale vegetable market, from the neighbouring state.
"Before going back (home to Tamil Nadu), they had the habit of drinking (alcohol) and partying. They were there on that day (August 24). What happened thereafter all of you know", Sood said.
Police sources said the victim was so traumatised that she was not in a position to give statement to police on the incident.
"We have to be sensitive to the trauma she is suffering", Sood said, adding, police could gather information from her male friend but it was "limited" as he was unconscious and the incident happened between 7 pm and 8 pm (when it was dark). There is information that some of the accused had "criminal background" and were involved in cases in Tamil Nadu but it needed to be verified, according to him.
"We will file the charge-sheet as soon as possible", Sood said, adding, Forensic Science Laboratory teams are working "full-time" as part of the investigation.
He requested the High Court to expedite trial in the case. Sood said a special prosecutor would be appointed if required and efforts would be made to see that the perpetrators get punishment as soon as possible.