New Delhi: A 25-year-old woman in Telangana capital Hyderabad has filed a police complaint alleging sexual harassment, assault by 139 people, including members of the Telugu film industry, over several years. According to her complaint, she was subject to harassment and assault, including gang rape, over 5,000 times.
Police at Panjagutta have lodged an FIR in the case, invoking sections 376 (2) (public servant committing rape taking advantage of his official position), 509 (insulting modesty of a woman), and 354 (assault of criminal force with an intent to outrage modesty) of the Indian Penal Code. Relevant sections of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 have been invoked as well.
Station house officer Niranjan Reddy said the FIR was based on a preliminary investigation. The charges, police sources added, suggested the woman’s torture was part of a racket.
In her statement to the magistrate, sources said, the woman has named student union leaders, members of the Telugu film industry, media personalities, lawyers, and assistants to politicians, among others, as the accused. While some have been named in the FIR, others have not.
‘Rape, torture, threats’
According to the FIR, accessed by ThePrint, the woman’s ordeal began in June 2009, when she got married to a man in the city’s Miryalaguda area. The woman has alleged that she was subjected to sexual harassment by several of her husband’s relatives and family members for nine months until she divorced him and moved back into her maternal home to pursue higher studies.
However, she claims, the sexual harassment did not stop as several other people continued to sexually exploit her and make videos of her. She says she was gang-raped multiple times and later to forced to abort. She was allegedly drugged, burnt with cigarettes and made to dance nude, the FIR states.
The 25-year-old also mentioned in her complaint that the men threatened to pour acid and petrol on her and kill her. “Several young women are victims of their heinous acts,” she added.
It took her time to file a complaint, she says, because the accused had subjected her to threats and abuse in the name of caste. She finally approached police, she says, after an NGO offered her moral support.
Police personnel investigating the matter told ThePrint the investigation is not yet complete but seemed to be part of a larger racket. “She remembers everything and is mentally fit,” a senior police officer said.