Of them, two try to commit suicide

A week after the abduction and gang-rape of a medical student, the police cracked the case and arrested all three accused near Manipal on Thursday.

But two of the accused attempted suicide. While one of them is critical, the other is out of danger.

A medical student of Manipal University hailing from Kerala was abducted on June 20, near MCOPS building, by three persons who came in an autorickshaw and later gang-raped her. The student, who fractured her leg, is recuperating at the Kasturba Hospital in Manipal.

Addressing presspersons here, Pratap Reddy, IGP (Western Range), said the accused are Yogesh Poojary (30), a resident of Ontibettu village near Hiriyadka, Hariprasad Poojary (27), a resident of Badagabettu in Parkala village, near Manipal, and Anand, aged about 28 and a resident of Sanakkibettu, near Parkala.

Yogesh and Hariprasad are autorickshaw drivers, while Anand did not have any permanent occupation.

Yogesh was a rowdy-sheeter and was involved in several cases of rioting. The medical student was yet to identify the accused. The police had been intensely investigating the case. When Yogesh came to know that there was no chance of escape, he called Mr. Reddy around 10 a.m. on Thursday and confessed about his involvement in the crime and narrated the entire incident. He said over the telephone that since the police would not leave him he would commit suicide.

The police teams, who were involved in the investigation near the area, traced him in a hilly area at Athrady, near Hiriyadka. They immediately picked him from there and admitted him to the Kasturba Hospital in Manipal. His preliminary statement was taken. But his condition was critical.

Another accused, Hariprasad, was arrested at Parkala between 11.30 a.m. and noon. The third accused Anand attempted suicide by hanging himself from a tree near Sanakibettu in the evening, but the police teams, who were following him, immediately rushed to the spot, and rescued him and admitted him to the Kasturba Hospital, and he is out of danger. The autorickshaw that was used in the crime had been identified. The vehicle was in the name of Hariprasad’s elder brother.

To a question, Mr. Reddy said the victim did not know the accused. This was not a planned crime. The three accused had consumed alcohol and had gone on a joy ride in the autorickshaw on the night of June 20. They saw the medical student on the Manipal University campus, abducted her and then sexually assaulted her.

The place where the student was gang-raped was not the one where the police thought the crime had taken place. The face of the accused (Yogesh) did not resemble the sketch released by the police. It was Yogesh who dropped the medical student near her residence after the sexual assault. According to two accused, all the three had been involved in the sexual assault, Mr. Reddy said. He said that the medical student had still not given any statement.

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