Two of the accused try to commit suicide before arrest

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

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

They allegedly abducted the medical student of Manipal University hailing from Kerala near the MCOPS building on June 20 in an autorickshaw and gang-raped her. The student is recuperating at Kasturba Hospital in Manipal. She has a fractured leg among the injuries.

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

Yogesh and Hariprasad are autorickshaw drivers. Anand did not have an occupation.

Yogesh was a rowdy-sheeter and was involved in several cases of rioting. The medical student was yet to identify the accused.

When Yogesh came to know that there was no chance of escape, he called Mr. Reddy around 10 a.m. on Thursday and confessed to the crime and narrated the 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 picked him from there and admitted him to Kasturba Hospital in Manipal. His preliminary statement was taken. But his condition was critical.

Auto identified

Another accused, Hariprasad, was arrested at Parkala between 11.30 a.m. and noon. The third accused Anand attempted suicide by hanging from a tree near Sanakibettu in the evening, but police teams rushed to the spot and caught him. He has been admitted to Kasturba Hospital.

The autorickshaw used in the crime had been identified. The vehicle was in the name of Hariprasad’s elder brother. The police got information from preliminary questioning. “We are yet to do detailed questioning,” Mr. Reddy said.

‘Not planned’

To a question, Mr. Reddy said the victim did not know the accused. This was not a planned crime. The three accused had alcohol and gone on a fun ride in the autorickshaw at night. 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 three had been involved in the sexual assault, Mr. Reddy said.

To another question, he said the medical student had still not given any statement. The police would try their best to convince her to do so in a considerate manner.

  • The medical student from Kerala was raped on June 20

  • Two of the accused are auto drivers