Manipal, June 20, 2015: It is 2 long years since Manipal witnessed the gruesome incident where a medical student was kidnapped and sexually assaulted. The final verdict in the case even after many hearings and adjournments is yet to be seen, numerous assurances over speedy trial and justice seem to be only a dream.
A girl was gang-raped by a group of three men at around 11.30 pm June 20, 2013 near the university library. On the ill-fated day, the girl who was coming out of the library was dragged into an auto by three men including the auto driver. They took her to a remote place near Ontibettu village. The victim was raped and she also sustained injuries including fractures. The investigating team led by the then Manipal CPI Sadananda Tippannannavar nabbed all three criminals involved in the crime were arrested in a short period of time.
Yogesh Poojary, an auto and taxi driver from Ontibettu called the IG over phone and confessed to committing the crime. He had also consumed poison fearing detention. He was in small hill in Heeriyadka area. Yogesh’s associate Hariprasad Poojary was arrested based on the information provided by Yogesh. Hariprasad also an auto driver used his brother’s auto to commit the crime. The third accused Anand was nabbed by the police when he attempted to commit suicide at his house in Parkala. The other two accused Balachandra and Harindra, brothers of Yogesh and Hariprasad were arrested on charges of tampering evidence.
Manipal police filed the chargesheet of 650 pages with 108 witnesses against all five accused in the chief judicial magistrate court on August 22. The prime accused were charged with Sections 366, 376 D, 506 and two other accused involved in tampering the evidences were charged with Section 201 read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code. The case was posted for framing of the charges against the accused on October 28 at district and sessions Court. It was posted on November 2 for the appearance of the accused before the District and Sessions court. The trial in the case began on January 6, 2014 and the medical student deposed before the court on February 3. The accused are now represented by advocate Prabhakar Acharya.
Public Prosecutor T S Jithoori said the accused had approached High Court alleging prosecution had not cross examined evidence and High Court had allowed the application of the accused. Currently, the State has referred the matter to Supreme Court and the Apex Court has stayed the order of the High Court.
The prosecution found it unnecessary to examine witnesses which were left out, as it would have been a repetition. The case is at present posted for arguments on July 10.