DYFI activists are hauled away by the police for protesting near the DGP office in Hyderabad on Sunday, demanding action against the accused in minor girl rape case. (Deepak Deshpande/DC)
Hyderabad: The escape route for a city MLA's son, who was allegedly involved in the gangrape of a minor girl in Jubilee Hills, appears to be closing despite his claims that he was not among those accused in the case.
On Sunday, the police arrested another minor, the third one so far, involved in the gangrape on Sunday apart from Sadudin Malik. Multiple police teams are on the lookout for the fifth accused, Omair Khan. The Jubilee Hills police will be taking a statement from the 17-year-old victim in the expectation that she would reveal more details including additional names.
Asked if there were chances of another accused being named, a police official said, "We cannot pre-emptively say that. If the victim names someone else, we will surely take action." The police are planning to have the victim's statement recorded by a magistrate through videoconference.
Meanwhile, the police found that the vehicle in which the minor was violated was cleaned by the accused. "The vehicle was seized from a farmhouse on the city outskirts," sources said.
Deccan Chronicle has reliably learnt that the video evidence — a clip shown at a press conference by BJP MLA M. Raghunandan Rao — has forced the authorities to take a fresh look at the involvement of the city legislator's son.
Deccan Chronicle can now reveal, based on highly reliable information, that even the act of kissing or petting a minor girl — as was seen in the video clip shown at a press meet by Raghunandan Rao on Saturday — constitutes a violation under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Even if the perpetrator in such an incident, as seen in the video clip, is a minor, it still constitutes a violation of the POCSO Act, and such a person will need to be punished as per the Act's provision, sources in the police told this newspaper on Sunday.
It is also learnt the investigating officials initially had a chat with the MLA's son. His age was not verified officially but it will not make any difference when it comes to taking action against him. Though the police officials had initially said the MLA's son had claimed he was not in the Innova in which the girl was assaulted, his presence in the Mercedes Benz car in which a video was shot has left no room for doubt over his presence in the events of May 28.
Sources told Deccan Chronicle that the young man was questioned and let off after he claimed innocence and that he was not in the Innova. Amidst rumours that he was packed off abroad by his family, police sources said that to the best of their knowledge he was still in the city.
Meanwhile, police sources said a fresh statement from the victim would be recorded in light of the new evidence. So far, four persons have been arrested in the case and further action will follow as investigations progress, police sources said.
The sources also said that in matters involving the rape of a minor, there could be no pressure from anyone, and the POCSO Act was very clear about the actions that needed to be taken against perpetrators of a sexual assault on a minor girl.
It may be recalled that Raghunandan Rao had claimed on Saturday at a press conference where he displayed a clip from the video purportedly shot in the car, that the son of an AIMIM MLA could be clearly seen and questioned why the police were not taking any action to question him.