On Thursday, the protests turned violent as several people started pelting stones in the town, after the deadline they gave the police to arrest the accused was not met.

Minors rape triggers violent protests in Guntur cops issue lookout notice for accusedTNM arrangement
news Protests Friday, May 04, 2018 - 07:13

The rape of a 9-year-old girl in Dachepalli in Guntur has sparked massive protests in the town. On Thursday, the protests turned violent as several people started pelting stones in the town, after the deadline they gave the police to arrest the accused was not met. Media persons who were shooting the stone pelting were also reportedly attacked.

On Wednesday night, the minor girl was raped allegedly by her neighbour, a 50-year-old rickshaw puller called Mannem Subbaiah. The police have filed a case under IPC 376 as well as Prevention of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, on the basis of a complaint by the victim’s mother.

The girl, who studies in Class 3, reportedly complained of pain and bleeding in the stomach. Her mother then took her to the local hospital, and she was reportedly so badly injured that she required stitches. The girl was then shifted to the Guntur Government Hospital.

District Collector K Shashidar called on the victim at the Guntur Government Hospital and assured justice to the family.

However, enraged locals staged protests on the Narkatpalli-Addanki highway from 10.30 pm to 1.30 am on Wednesday night, where they blocked traffic, burnt tires and raised slogans, demanding the arrest of the accused. They called off the protests after the police assured them of swift action – however, they set a deadline of 3pm on Thursday for the arrest of the accused, and called for a town bandh if their deadline was not met.

As no arrest was made by 3pm on Thursday since the accused is absconding, the protests restarted. Agitators pelted stones and tried to hold a rail roko and a rasta roko in the town. Several buses were also damaged in the process. The situation was soon brought under control.

There is now heavy police deployment in the town to prevent untoward incidents. Guntur Rural SP Ventaka Appala Naidu is supervising the situation. Police have released a lookout notice for the accused, and people have been asked to inform Gurazala DySP, Circle Inspector or local Sub-Inspector if they find the accused.

Speaking to TV9, the Guntur Rural SP said, “All the movement patterns of the accused are being tracked, and more than 10 teams are part of the search operation.”

He further added, "We have had to focus more on the roadblocks and protests now. If everyone cooperates with us with patience, we can nab him soon and take action.”

Meanwhile, Andhra Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and State Women’s Commission chairperson Nannapaneni Rajakumari condemned the incident.

Janasena Chief Pawan Kalyan has also condemned the incident on Twitter.

He said, "My heart wrenches along with the civil society when we hear of such incidents from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Today's Dachepalli incident too saddened me, and made me feel helpless. I wish the police and government authorities will stand in support of the victims. I believe there should be a public punishment method so that the culprits will be scared to commit such acts against any women.”

In the latest development in the case, police said on Thursday that the accused may have committed suicide. 

The 50-year-old rickshaw puller was seen heading towards Krishna river and reportedly told a man that he wants to end his life, Director General of Police M Malakondaiah said.

The police chief suspects that the accused is mentally unsound. Subbaiah had married twice but both the wives had deserted him.

 

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