Hyderabad Police, handling the case of gang-rape of a 17-year old girl at Jubilee Hills, has said it is implicating the son and a relative of an MLA of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM). While the name of AIMIM had figured in some reports including the Sirf News report of the day when the crime was committed, subsequent reports talked of a Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader’s son and one each of two corporators.
The police have arrested two more people in connection with the case. This raises the number of suspects arrested to six persons. Hyderabad Commissioner of Police CV Anand said at a press conference on the night of 7 June that, of the six people arrested, five were minors — or children in conflict with law (CCL) — while one is an adult.
Two of the CCLs are the son and a relative of an AIMIM MLA. The case had caught the attention of the whole nation last week because of the involvement of members of politically influential families. Telangana BJP has been alleging that the police were delaying arrests as they were acting under political pressure from the ruling TRS and AIMIM.
The police have booked five of those arrested. One of them, the son of an MLA, has been booked for sexual assault of the minor survivor.
On 28 March, the commissioner said, a boy from Bengaluru decided to organise a party in Hyderabad before the school term begins. He asked three of his friends to look for a pub where a party can be hosted for about 100 people.
His friends suggested Insomnia pub. They then booked the pub for a non-alcoholic and non-smoking party, through a man named Usman Ali Khan, a major and his friend.
They bargained and brought down the cost of the entry pass to Rs 900. The person organising the party posted on Instagram in the second week of May, saying, “Euphoria party on 28 May at 1 PM.”
They received a lot of responses, and they collected Rs 1,300 for the attendees instead of the discounted price of Rs 900. A lot of people bought tickets to the party, more than 100 people as originally planned.
On 25 May, the organiser came to Hyderabad from Bengaluru and paid an advance of Rs 1 lakh to the pub.
On 28 May at 1 PM, the survivor arrived at the pub with a friend. The survivor had also paid Rs 1,300 for the entry ticket at the suggestion of the friend. The offence was committed on 28 May.
Gang rape by wards of TRS, AIMIM
At 1:10 PM, the would-be victim and the friend who accompanied her went into the pub. Till 1:50 PM, they were dancing together. Then her friend left for some work. The girl met another friend and was at the pub with her.
At 3:15 PM, one of the CCLs approached her followed by Saduddin Malik. The two of them misbehaved with her.
After 5:10 PM, when their molestation became worse, the survivor felt uncomfortable.
At 5:40 PM, the survivor and her friend left the pub and went out in the street as they did not like the hangout. Meanwhile, inside the pub, the CCLs involved had gotten together with their friends.
It looked like they started their plan and conspired together at this apot, based on the CCTV footage, the commissioner said. They followed the survivor out of the pub. The friend who was with her left in a cab. The CCLs then approached the survivor, talked to her and trapped her.
At 5.43 pm, four CCLs and the survivor got into a Mercedes car to go to Conçu bakery. At the same time, four others — Saduddin and three CCLs — got into an Innova. On the way from Road no. 36 where the pub is located, to the bakery on Road no. 14 Banjara Hills, the four CCLs in the Mercedes took turns and forcefully kissed the survivor. The Commissioner said they themselves recorded videos of this and later circulated them. He said those who assaulted her had internal differences and had recorded videos of each other to possibly use them later as leverage on the others.
At 5.51 PM, the two cars reached Concu bakery.
At 5.54 PM, the survivor got down from the Mercedes and got into the Innova. At least three of the others who were in the Mercedes with her also got into the Innova. The person driving the Innova till then left. At least two persons stayed back while the others left from the pastry shop.
At 5.57 PM, both the Mercedes and the Innova were parked in the parking place.
At 6.15 PM, the Innova left the bakery and drove away. Saduddin Malik, five other CCLs, and the survivor were in it.
At 6.18 pm, one of the CCLs returned. He told the police that it was because he got a call and returned to the bakery for some work. Saduddin and the other four CCLs took the survivor in the Innova and went to a place behind the Peddamma temple on Road no. 44, where it was dark and there wasn’t much traffic. Then the first CCL raped her, and the other four took turns raping her. In this process, she was badly injured in her neck.
At 7:31 PM, the Innova came back to the pub and the victim was dropped there. The Innova then left. The survivor then called her father.
At 7:53 PM, she came out of the parking place near the pub on Road No. 36, her father picked her and took her home.
On 31 May in the evening, she told her parents vaguely about the incident. Her parents saw injury marks on her neck and approached the police.
A case was registered at Jubilee Hills police station on 31 May night under Sections 9 and 10 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. As she couldn’t share further details, she was sent to a Bharosa centre where a few women police officers spoke with her for a while, after which the survivor revealed further details slowly.
On 1 June, the sections in the case were altered to section 376D (gangrape) of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) and Sections 5 and 6 of the Pocso Act. She was then sent for medical examination and an investigation began.
On 2 June, the persons involved in the incident were identified based on CCTV footage. The survivor only knew one person’s name and couldn’t identify the others.
On 3 June, police arrested the only major among the six accused, Saduddin Malik, and sent him to remand.
One 4 June, the first and second CCL (child in conflict with law) were apprehended, produced before the Juvenile Justice Board and sent to an observation home for boys for safe custody.
On 5 June, the third CCL was apprehended and produced before the Juvenile Justice Board.
Finally, on 7 June, the other two CCLs have been caught, the commissioner said.
He said that the investigation has concluded. The five persons who allegedly raped the survivor have been booked under Sections 376D (gangrape) and 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) of the IPC, and sections 5(g) (gang penetrative sexual assault on a child) read with section 6 of the Pocso Act.
They have also been booked under Sections 366 (kidnapping a woman), 366A (procuration of a minor girl), and Section 67 in The Information Technology Act for circulating the videos from the car. While one of the persons involved was earlier believed to be 18 years old, the Commissioner said they later learned that he is one month short of 18. One of these four CCLs is a relative of an AIMIM MLA.
The sixth CCL is the son of the AIMIM MLA, who was among those seen in the visuals from the car kissing the survivor. The Commissioner said he was not involved in the rape but has been booked under Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 323 of the IPC and section 9(g) (gang sexual assault on a child) read with section 10 of the Pocso Act.
BJP MLA Raghunandan Rao had shared the visuals from the car which showed a boy kissing the survivor at a press conference on 4 June, alleging that they showed an AIMIM MLA’s son’s involvement in the case and demanding his arrest. The BJP leader was booked under section 228A (disclosure of identity of the victim of certain offences) of the IPC by the police at the Abid Road station, sharing the visuals.
The punishment for the five persons involved in the rape will be not less than 20 years, and they might be awarded imprisonment for life till death or the death penalty, the Commissioner said. The trial will happen in a special court, and the police have strong evidence, he added. For the one CCL who is accused of sexual assault, a minimum five to seven years of imprisonment will apply, he said.
The statement of the girl was also recorded by police before a magistrate on 7 June. Amid reports that the accused had cleaned the vehicle, they said the forensic teams have collected a good amount of evidence related to the incident.
Meanwhile, the police filed a petition in a local court seeking seven days of custody of 18-year old Saduddin Malik. The court after hearing arguments on the custody petition on Tuesday posted the matter for orders for Wednesday. The police sought custodial interrogation of the accused as part of further investigations into the case including for recreation of the scene of the offence, sources said.
A report on Amnesia pub has been sent to the excise department, the commissioner said. He said that the police licensing system as per the City Police Act, for public places of amusement and entertainment after 10 pm had been stopped for about four to five years, but it may have to be implemented for pubs again to avoid nuisance and anti-social activities.