A 21-year old woman from Bengaluru, who went in search of her husband to Gangavathi in Karnataka’s Koppal district, was physically assaulted and raped on the night of Thursday, February 8. After she filed a police complaint and was housed at a Santhwana Centre —a rehabilitation home for women in distress—the centre’s counsellor filed a missing complaint saying that the woman left within an hour of arriving at the centre.
The woman had an ongoing dispute with her husband of three months, following which her husband went to his home in Gangavathi. She then went looking for him and met him at the Gangavathi bus stand at around 9 pm on February 8. While the couple were still arguing, a group of six men approached the woman and asked her if she was in trouble. Despite explaining that they were married and wanted to be left alone, the group proceeded to physically assault the husband.
They also assaulted the woman and dragged her to a remote location where she was raped by a member of the group. The woman, along with her husband, then took the help of an auto driver in identifying the assaulters and reached the Gangavathi police station.
An FIR was filed against the assaulters identified as Lingaraj, Maula Hussain, Shivakumar, Prashanth, Mahesh, and Madesh under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including outraging the modesty of a woman and rape. The police have arrested all the six accused.
Two days later on February 10, the woman was put up at a Santhwana rehabilitation centre, from where she was reported missing by the centre’s counsellor. When the counsellor could not find the woman, she checked the CCTV footage and found that the woman had walked out at 2.52 pm, following which the counsellor filed a missing person complaint at the Gangavathi police station.
The police informed TNM that the woman has still not been traced. Calls made to the Superintendent of Police, Koppal, to confirm this went unanswered.