Police conduct medical examination 24 hours later
Less than a week after a four-year-old from Hassan was allegedly raped by a family friend in the city, a 15-year-old girl was reportedly raped by a 27-year-old man in Patalamma Layout on Tuesday evening. The Kadugodi police registered the case the next morning and waited till Wednesday evening to conduct a medical examination.
The accused, Ashwath lured the teen into his grocery store and downed shutters the moment she entered. The girl was tied up with ropes and ravaged. As he was raping her, two of his friends allegedly stood guard outside the shop, said police sources.
After being released by her captors, the injured girl tottered home and told her family. As her angry parents and neighbours, along with hundreds of local residents, marched to Ashwath’s grocery store, he had already absconded.
The crowd started to get restive and the incident started to take a communal colour as the accused and the victim are from different communities. Tension prevailed in the area till late on Tuesday.
The girl comes from a desperately poor family of daily wage labourers and lives with eight other family members in a ramshackle house measuring around 150 sq. ft. that is barely enough for two.
Shockingly, the police did not send the girl for medical examination until around 5.30 p.m. on Wednesday evening, nearly 24 hours after the incident. Angry residents also accused the police of apathy saying they delayed filing of the FIR. The FIR was, in fact, not lodged until early Wednesday.
The police also tried to keep the media at bay by refusing to confirm the crime till late Wednesday afternoon. In fact, senior police officials tried to mislead the media throughout the day by initially stating that the victim was Ashwath’s girlfriend and that they had consensual sex. One police officer reacted sharply when a reporter pointed out that the age of consent in India is 18 and a girl below that age is deemed to have been raped even if she has had consensual sex. Another tried to misinform the press saying the victim was over 18. Assistant Commissioner of Police R. Ashok told reporters that a search is on for the accused.