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4 held in Karnataka schoolgirl gang-rape case

Dakshina Kannada (Karnataka), October 10, 2021

The Karnataka Police have arrested four persons in connection with the kidnapping and gang-rape of a 16-year-old schoolgirl, police sources said on Sunday.

Dakshina Kannada Superintendent of Police Sonawane Rishikesh Bhagawan said one of the accused was known to the girl through Facebook. He, along with other accused, who are his friends, gang-raped the girl, said police.

K.S. Sharath Shetty, a resident of Kapu, Maruthi Manjunath, Lodge Satish and Idayat Ulla are the arrested persons. The arrests were made on Saturday.

Accused Sharath Shetty, who was known to the victim through Facebook, spoke to her over the phone often. He has also introduced her to his relative Maruthi Manjunath. Manjunath also sent indecent messages to the victim on WhatsApp and made video calls, the investigations revealed.

The accused Sharath Shetty had asked the girl to come to the town and took her to a lodge and raped her. His friend Idayat Ulla also raped her, police said. Another accused Satish had made arrangements of the lodge and also sexually abused the girl.

The incident came to light after the schoolgirl came forward to lodge a police complaint. The victim stated that the accused persons came in a car at about 8.15 a.m. on Friday while she was going to the school near the bus stop of Bantwal town.

The girl has mentioned in the complaint that while talking the accused had given her chocolate and by the time she put the chocolate in her bag, she fell unconscious.

When she woke up, she was in bed and the accused took turns to rape her. She lost her consciousness yet again and when she gained consciousness, the girl found herself in the car. The accused left her near Bantwal town and the victim reached home after calling her mother, the girl had told police in the preliminary investigations.

The police have registered a case under the POCSO act.

Taking cognizance of the case, State Women's Commission President Pramila Naidu instructed the police department to initiate action against the accused persons and also to provide security to the victim and her family. Further investigation is on.


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