The State government has directed the police to invoke the Goonda Act against all the three arrested for allegedly raping a 17-year-old college girl in Raibag taluk, Chief Minister Jagdish Shettar has said soon after meeting the victim and her parents at the district government hospital here on Monday.

The accused, Sathyappa Beerappa Dange, Yamnur Sahadev Rajapure and Suresh Siddappa Dange, aged between 22 and 25 years, allegedly raped the girl in a sugarcane field on February 26 and later surrendered before the court in Raibag on Friday afternoon. The accused are habitual and notorious offenders and are involved in several other cases. They were also convicted in some cases, the police said adding that the Dange family was known for its notoriety. So much, according to police sources, a police inspector, who was investigating in one of the cases against these accused three years ago, was taken hostage and beaten up for daring to visit their house.

The Chief Minister said that he had learnt about background of the accused and the Dange family through the district police. The government would invoke the Goonda Act against the Dange family.

Mr. Shettar promised justice to victim and the parents and said all treatment expenses would be met by the government.

He announced compensation considering poor financial condition of the victim’s family.

The government would also provide complete protection to the family. But, the immediate priority before the government was to save her life and ensure protection to the family.

The doctors at the government hospital have said that she was responding to the treatment and there was no danger to her life, he said.

None of the human rights organisations or the women’s organisation in the city or district have so far come forward to react to the rape; although they had taken out processions and staged demonstrations demanding action against accused involved in the gang rape case of Delhi in December last. Even the elected representatives who had not bothered to meet the family till now, were seen along with the Chief Minister during latter's visit to the hospital in the city.

More In: Karnataka | National