Karnataka police on Thursday, January 11 revised the First Information Report (FIR) in the moral policing case in Hanagal, Haveri district, and added charges of gang rape. The survivor, who had initially reported offenses related to moral policing and assault has now detailed her harrowing experience of kidnap and gang rape.
The revised FIR, filed under section 164 of the criminal procedure code, lists seven accused individuals, most of whom are identified as offenders from the village of Akki Alur. Three of the accused, Aftab Makabul Ahmed Chandankatti, Madarsab Mohammad Isak Mandakki, and Abdul Khadar Jaffar Sab Hanchinmani, have been arrested. The fourth accused, Mohammad Saif Savikeri, met with an accident, and is currently undergoing surgery at the district hospital. He will be arrested after his recovery, said the police. The other accused remain unidentified for now.
The survivor was sent to the government hospital in Hanagal for medical examination. The police altered the charges to include gang rape based on the survivor’s statements before the court, media reports, and evidence from a photo and video clip circulating on social media.
A group of Muslim men barged into the hotel room and assaulted the Muslim woman and her Hindu companion on January 8. The video of the incident shows the three men waiting outside the room, barging in and assaulting the duo.
On January 11, the Hindu man’s father gave a statement to the police saying that the accused also tried to kill his son. Section 307 (attempt to murder) was added to the case.
Meanwhile, the woman had told the media that there were seven men who turned up at the hotel and their driver also raped her. “I went to the hotel. I was sitting in the room when the men came, dragged me and took me away on a bike. They took me near a lake and beat me up. They then took me to a forest area where they raped me one after another. They put me in the car, the car driver was amongst the rapists. They later dropped me on the road and put me on the Sirsi bus,” she said.
A hotel staff member, who witnessed the incident, filed a complaint on January 10. The complaint detailed how the attackers forcibly entered the lodge, dragged the couple out of their room, and subjected them to physical assault, tearing their clothes and threatening their lives. Based on that, the police registered a case under sections 354b (Assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe), 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 143 and 149 (unlawful assembly), 147 (guilty of rioting), 448 (house-trespass), 323 (deals with punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of Indian Penal Code.