The scar which shocked Manipal turns one year today

The accused have approached the HC demanding cross examining of the 15 witnesses.

The infamous Manipal rape case that terrified the people in the region, both outside and inside the Manipal campus, will mark its first anniversary on May 20. Blaming it on the snail’s pace proceedings of judicial system, the case is still pending before High Court as the accused had approached the court demanding the cross examining of the witnesses. 
It may be recalled that a fourth year MBBS student of Manipal university was gang raped by a group of three men on June 20, 2013 around 11.30 pm. The girl, who was walking out of the University library towards her flat was dragged inside the auto-rickshaw by three men including the auto driver.

 The victim sustained injuries after she was sexually assaulted. Subsequently, the University filed a case in Manipal police station. At the beginning, the reluctance of the victim to corporate with police, even after the arrest of the three accused was a major imediment in the case. The police inquiry had a fair conclusion with the investigating team led by the then Manipal CPI Sadnanda Tippannannavar nabbing all the three criminals involved in the crime. 

One of the prime accused, Yogesh Poojary himself had called the IG over phone and confessed that he had committed the crime which made the much awaited break through. Further, Yogesh’s associate Hariprasad Poojary, and the third accused, Anand were booked within no time. Yogesh Poojary and Hariprasad were auto drivers.The other two accused, Balachandra and Harindra, brothers of Yogesh and Hariprasad were arrested on the charges of tampering the crime evidences. 

More than 200 cops sweated out in the case besides experts from four neighbouring districts. Manipal police filed the charge sheet running across 650 pages with 108 witnesses against all the five accused in the chief judicial magistrate court on August 22. The prime accused were charged with sections 366, 376 D, 506 of IPC. Later, Balachandra and Harindra were granted bail from High Court. Current position of case

Currently, the accused have approached the High Court demanding the cross examining of the 15 witnesses, that were left out by the prosecution, presuming that there was no need for the cross examining of the witnesses. SP Borlaingaiah M B told Deccan Herald that the case is almost on the verge of completion, as the trial would begin for final argument shortly. 

Meanwhile, Public Prosecutor T S Jithoori said the prosecution judge has completed the cross examination of all the witnesses. The prosecution found it unnecessary to examine the witnesses which were left out, as it would have been a repetition.

 However, the case is not stayed. Trial will begin after the verdict. In case if there is no stay, the District and Sessions Court will proceed for trial. He added that had the accused not approached the High Court, the trial would have been concluded by now. 

Security scenario

SP Borlingaiah claims that post the gruesome incident, the security in Manipal has been beefed up and is jointly handed by the police and Manipal University. Constant beat is taken up in the area to ensure the safety of girls and women in and around University campus. Barricades are put across and CCTV cameras are put across the University campus. 

Manipal University Pro Chancellor Dr H S Ballal said that extra security personnel are put on duty.  Every vehicle passing through the campus is checked from 10 pm to 6 am. Additional security is ensured for the students, especially girls who go to their accommodations after using library at night, he added.

A student studying in KMC, who wished to remain anonymous, said that the fear in the minds still exits, as it was a dreadful incident that has taken place in the area, which was always presumed to be safe. “The security is much better when compared to last year. However, we cannot predict anything,” she said in a cautious note. 

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