On the last day of this year, December 31, the Varanasi police arrested three people accused of gang-raping a female student from IIT-BHU in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The arrest happened two months after the incident, which caused a protest on the campus. The suspects, identified as Kunal Pandey, Anand alias Abhishek Chauhan, and Saksham Patel, were apprehended in the Susuwahi area and are now being questioned.
Shivakant Mishra, the in-charge of Lanka police station, said that the IIT-BHU rape accused were apprehended by the Crime Branch and Lanka police. They also recovered the motorcycle used in the crime. The arrest followed an incident in November where the victim was allegedly disrobed at gunpoint, gang-raped, and the assault was recorded. The incident led to a large protest by students on the campus of BHU.
The victim, in her complaint to the police, explained that she left her hostel for a walk on November 2 around 1:30 am and met a friend. Three men on a motorcycle approached them near the Karman Baba temple, separated them, and assaulted her. They threatened her not to speak about the incident.
She wrote, “They kissed me forcibly, took off all my clothes, and recorded photos and videos. When I shouted for help, they threatened to kill me. They let me go after 10-15 minutes.” She further stated that she sought refuge in a professor's house and later she was escorted to the main gate by a security committee member.
The suspects were captured on CCTV two days after the incident in Chetganj, leading to their arrest. Initially, the FIR included charges under sections 354-B and 506 of the IPC and the IT Act. Later, based on the victim's fresh statement, charges of gangrape and additional IPC sections were added.
There are allegations that the arrested individuals, linked to the BJP IT cell, hold positions such as the metropolitan coordinator and co-convenor in Varanasi. Screenshots of Facebook profiles have circulated on social media, connecting them to the BJP IT cell.
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