A 23-year-old woman was gang-raped by four men who attacked her while her friend sustained grievous stab injuries when they were picnicking at the Kaigal waterfalls, a major tourist spot in Chittoor district near Palamaner about 120 km from here, on Thursday.

The gang pounced on the couple, said to be from Bangarpet. After attacking the man, identified as Muniraju (27) with a knife, they assaulted the woman when she tried to come to his rescue. The gang then dragged her into the nearby bushes and allegedly gang-raped her, leaving her and Mr. Muniraju in pools of blood.

The crime came to light when passers-by saw them in dire straits and called the police. The police admitted the couple to the PES Hospital at Kuppam where Mr. Muniraju’s condition is stated to be critical. According to Palamaner (Rural) Circle Inspector V. Chandrasekhar, three special teams have been formed to track down the culprits. A similar crime was committed at the same spot six months ago.