Picnic turns nightmare for youngsters studying in Bangalore college

A picnic to Sangam and Muthathi, on the banks of the Cauvery, turned into a nightmare for a group of eight students of an engineering college in Bangalore when they were assaulted and two girls among them sexually humiliated in full public view at the Kanakapura Bus Stand Circle in Ramanagaram district on Wednesday night.

The miscreants reportedly tore off the girls’ clothes and beat up their friends in front of a dozen people. The police added to their trauma by refusing to register a complaint initially, though five men were arrested late on Thursday.

Local residents, who rescued the victims, staged a protest in the town demanding the arrest of the culprits. The atmosphere turned tense when a few persons threw stones on the rallyists, prompting the district administration to clamp prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code for eight days.

The police said the six boys and two girls, all from north, had gone to Sangam and Muthathi to celebrate the birthday of one of them. At Muthathi they were accosted by the miscreants. The rattled students fled in their multi-utility vehicle but they were followed on motorbikes. The police said their tormentors telephoned some others to intercept the students at Kanakapura. “They roughed up the boys and molested the girls in full public view,” an eyewitness told The Hindu. “The police said a brother of a senior Congress leader had instructed them not to register a complaint,” added the eyewitness, requesting anonymity.

As news of the assault spread on Thursday, members of various Hindutva groups joined the protest.

Local residents and activists, alleging that the police were protecting the culprits, staged a protest at the Bus Stand Circle also. They demanded action against the persons who threw stones at the rally. The police wielded batons to break up the rally.

Traffic on roads in the area was hit for nearly two hours following the protest. Superintendent of Police Anupam Agarwal later said five persons, all in their early 20s, were arrested in connection with the incident. They are Firdaus Ahmed, Syed Mathin, Arshad Khan, Waseem Akram Khan and Rizwan Ahmed, all labourers. They have been booked on charges of assault, threat to life and molestation. The police seized a car from them.

The police are looking for some other miscreants.

Keywords: sexual assault

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