Nine held for gang-rape of Bangalore bartenders

Bangalore, Oct 23 (IANS) Nine suspects, including a woman, were arrested Tuesday for the alleged gang-rape of three bartenders in their rented house at Kengari near Bidadi on the city's outskirts in the early hours of Oct 19, a police official said.

"We came to know about the eight of the accused during the course of investigation, as a neighbour of the victims hinted seeing two of them in the area who were petty criminals," Ramanagaram Superintendent of Police Anupam Agarwal told IANS here.

The shocking incident came to light when the victims lodged a complaint with local police station against the suspects who also abducted five of their colleagues soon after the crime and escaped in a van towards Bidadi, about 30km from Bangalore.

"During preliminary interrogation, the suspects confessed to the crime and provided enough clues to book them. We will seek their custody for further investigation," Agarwal noted.

The gang, however, let off the five bartenders later after they resisted a rape attempt and threatened to alert police.

"As the gang was familiar with the victims' movements, including the casino bar in the city they were employed, mode of transport and where they were residing, the suspects barged into their house after Thursday midnight and sexually abused three of them," Agarwal said.

According to the complaint, the suspects also ransacked the victims' house and took away their valuables, including jewellery, cash and mobile handsets.

"The woman suspect was arrested as she provided information about the victims to the accused and abetted in the crime by conspiring with one of them," Agarwal pointed out.

A case was registered against the accused under sections 363, 376 and 395 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and a five-member team was formed to investigate it and nab the culprits as they were all locals from the neighbouring district.