The advisory panel comprising three sitting judges of the Karnataka High Court has approved invoking the Goonda Act against the six men accused of raping a law student on Bangalore University’s Jnanabharati campus in October last year.

After the West Division police arrested them, the accused were booked under the Goonda Act as they were found to be involved in criminal offences.

As per the procedure, the Home Department has submitted a report before the advisory panel . The accused Maddura M. (20), Doddiraiah M. (19), Shivanna M. (20), Eleyayya alias Eleya (23), Eerayya alias Eera (20) and Ramu R. (20). While Doddiraiah hails from Mysore, the others are from Ramanagaram.

Career criminals

The police described them as career criminals engaged in poaching timber and sandalwood from the forest area of the university campus. Apart from this, they also routinely mugged students and the public who ventured into the forest area, even sexually assault women.

Though most rape victims had not filed a complaint fearing stigma, the police registered four other rape cases apart from cases relating to sandalwood smuggling, dacoity, assault, attempt to rape, and rape after the October 2012 incident.

The student victim had said in her complaint that she was raped when she had gone out with her boyfriend on that fateful night. When they were walking in the forest area, the gang had intercepted them and demanded money. When her friend told them his wallet was in the car, the gang sent him back to retrieve it, sending along one of its member to accompany him.

As soon as he left, she was subjected to brutal sexual assault before being dragged to the other end of the campus area where she was left in the middle of the night.