Two attempt to sexually assault Lithuanian tourist in Andhra, arrested

TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu reacted to the incident, saying it was “disgusting” that it happened on International Women’s Day.
Stylised image of a man touching a woman’s shoulder, whose head is bent down
Stylised image of a man touching a woman’s shoulder, whose head is bent down
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The Andhra Pradesh police on Wednesday, March 8, arrested two men from Nellore district for attempting to sexually assault a 27-year-old Lithuanian woman. According to the police, I Sai Kumar and Sheikh Abid, aged 26 and 28 respectively, have been arrested and sent to judicial custody.

The tourist from the European nation had arrived in India from Sri Lanka on March 7. After reaching Chennai, she was travelling to Bengaluru by bus. During the journey, Sai Kumar reportedly helped her by paying the bus fare in Indian currency, as she had only dollars with her. He took dollars worth Rs 5,000 from the woman and took her to his village Venkanapalem in Nellore district promising to return the remaining money there.

On reaching the village, Sai Kumar informed his friend Abid about the foreign tourist, police said. They took her around the Sydapuram area on a two-wheeler, and later took her to a forest area along Rapuru road, where they allegedly tried to sexually harass her. However, the woman, with the help of passers-by, reached the Sydapuram police station and filed a complaint.

Circle inspector Srinivasulu Reddy said they identified the accused with a video recording in the victim's mobile phone and also using the details from the accused’s Aadhaar and PAN cards, which Sai Kumar had given to her before taking the money. Within four hours of the woman lodging the complaint, police arrested the accused. Both were booked under 354(a) (Punishment for sexual harassment) and 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) of the Indian Penal Code. A local court sent both the accused to judicial custody.

Meanwhile, leader of opposition and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said he was shocked to learn about the incident. “It is disgusting to find out that the woman was betrayed on the pretext of offering help,” tweeted the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief. He demanded that the perpetrators of the crime be speedily brought to justice and punished. “Two such incidents in Nellore dist, that too on #InternationalWomensDay lays bare the dangerous conditions prevailing in Andhra Pradesh for women,” Naidu tweeted.

He requested the police department to focus on controlling the rising crime against women in the state, instead of “wasting time to harass” opposition leaders and party workers with “fake and petty cases”.

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