On March 5, a girl in her 20s came to the HAL police station with her friend. She had been threatened, assaulted, and robbed by a man who had entered her PG accommodation in the wee hours of March 4.
As soon as Smitha* described the man who had threatened to rape her, officers at the police station understood one thing. A habitual offender who was accused of raping another young woman in the same area two days ago, had struck again.
The accused who Smitha identified was 30-year-old Shivarama Reddy. An FIR had been filed against him in the same station on March 2 for raping a techie. The girl who hailed from east India was living in a PG accommodation within the HAL police station limits.
Smithaās case may have only got a passing mention as yet another molestation case in Bengaluru if not for a Facebook post by one of her friends. Her persistence in filing a case against Reddy has now brought to light details of a predator who has been on the prowl for a couple of years.
āHeās a habitual offender. He would target Paying Guest accommodations where non-south Indian girls were staying. He was an expert in picking locks. He would normally commit thefts and robberies, but when he was drunk, he targeted women,ā a police source confirmed to TNM.
As of now, Bengaluru police have been able to collate data about 16 cases against Shivarama Reddy including three cases of rape, at least one case of attempted murder, many cases of robbery, theft and assault.
Shivarama Reddy is a cab driver, hailing from Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh. He has been living in Bengaluru for the last 15 years and currently resides in Hoskote. On March 7, Reddy was injured in an altercation with the police. He was then shot at by one of the officers in the police team when he tried to attack them. The team included Sadiq Pasha, the HAL inspector. Reddy was arrested and is in hospital now.
His second victim in HAL Layout, Smitha, had alleged that Pasha had refused to take her complaint and had forced her to file a complaint only of extortion.
āIt seems the police did not want two back to back cases of sexual assault by the same man within the same stationās limit,ā a friend of Smithaās told TNM
Additional Commissioner of Police (East) Hemant Nimbalkar denied these allegations. āIf we registered a case under Section 376 (rape) on March 2, why wouldnāt we register a case of sexual assault on March 5?ā Nimbalkar countered.
According to police sources there are FIRs under section 376 (rape) of the CrPC filed against Reddy in at least three other police stations.
Techie raped in 2014
In 2014, another case of rape, attempted murder, extortion and tampering evidence was filed against Reddy at the Electronic City Police Station.
Shivarama Reddy had targeted a girl from Bihar at a PG accommodation in Electronic City.
"The girl was living on the first floor of a PG and was an IT professional working in HAL. Shivarama Reddy used to look for PGs where the girls were not given keys to their rooms by the owners. The victim was 25 years old and her roommate had latched the door from outside before going to work," Electronic City police said.
Around 3am, Shivarama Reddy entered the room while the girl was asleep and threatened her with a knife.
"He told her to have sexual intercourse with him and threatened to kill her if she did not. He stabbed her when she tried to resist. A case of sexual assault was also filed at the time," the police added.
The Electronic city police also said that there is a case against Reddy in HSR Layout as well.
"In the HSR Layout and Electronic City case, the girls' roommates had gone to work the night shift. He had watched both the girls for a few days before he targeted them," police sources said.
Reddy has a history of sexual crimes and assault in many other parts of Bengaluru.
In 2013, he was booked under section 354 of the CrPC (assault with the intention to outrage a women's modesty) in Mahadevpura.
In Varthur, Reddy was charged with sexual harassment and booked under section 354A. This dates back to 2014.
(*Not her real name)