Bangalore Police on Saturday arrested seven suspects involved in the alleged gang rape of National Law School of India University (NLSIU) student.
The city police commissioner confirmed that six were arrested on charges of sexual assault and a manhunt has begun to nab the other two who are absconding. Later in the day, police nabbed the seventh suspect from the university campus after firing at him when he refused to surrender to the police.
"The police fired two rounds at Rama and his associate and one round in the air," said S N Siddaramappa, DCP (West) to Press trust of India.
According to reports, the seven men who were arrested belong to a tribal community, Iruligas, and are involved in smuggling timber. The arrested were identified as Mallesh (20), Maddura (20), Doddaheeraiah (19), Shivanna (20), Eeraiah (20), Yeliyaiah (23) and Rama (50).
"The six persons were cutting wood illegally for sale and came to the university campus in search of sandalwood on the night of the crime," Jyotiprakash Mirji, city police commissioner said.
The incident took place on Oct 13 when the second year law student, a Nepali citizen, was out with her male friend in a car. The eight men came to the spot for wood cutting and spotted the parked vehicle. The gang dragged the girl to a thickly wooded area and raped her after sending the friend back to the car to retrieve some money.
Police said that the suspects confessed their involvement in the rape case during preliminary interrogation. The hideouts of the suspects were traced by tracking the phone calls made from the victim's mobile phone which the accused took away after the crime.
"We zeroed-in the suspects after checking mobile calls made from the area and received around the time of the incident (October 13 night) and interrogating several people," Mirji said.
Though the preliminary investigation revealed it as a case of gang rape, the police are awaiting medical reports for confirmation as the victim did not have any external injuries. The suspects have been booked under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).