Five students of a private college in Dakshina Kannada district were arrested Wednesday on charges of raping their college mate, a Dalit girl, in March this year, police said. The incident came to light this week after a video of the act went viral.
The arrested have been identified as Gurunandan and Sunil of Puttur and Prajwal, Kishan and Prakhyath from Bantwal, all aged 19 years, police said. They have been charged under IPC 341 (wrongful restraint), 376 (d) (gang rape), the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, and IT Act.
Police said the five students had allegedly raped the girl by taking her in their car to a forest area. They also recorded the act and threatened the girl that the video would be shared on social media if she revealed the incident to anyone.
As the video went viral, district police registered a case at the Puttur women's police station and formed two teams to trace the culprits, which led to the arrests. District superintendent of police B M Laxmi Prasad warned the public not to share it on social media.
In a press note, he said this will amount to a criminal offense under 354 (c) of IPC (Voyeurism) and provisions of the IT act and people including group admins will be arraigned as accused under the sections. The five students have been suspended from the college after the police intimated the arrest to the authorities.
The decision was taken by the institution's administrative board.
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