Sex crime leaves many in despair

Sex crime leaves many in despair

An auto driver was arrested for brutally biting off woman’s lip late last week; his family says he was sole breadwinner

A 37-year-old was allegedly gagged and raped by auto driver Nagaraj, who is said to have followed her after she hailed his auto twice last couple of weeks.

The FIR says he barged into her house in the afternoon and bit off her lower lip before fleeing with her jewellery. Alarmed by the woman’s screams, neighbours and construction workers rushed to her help. They caught Nagaraj and handed him over to the police.

The woman and Nagaraj live just a few streets apart. Metrolife visited the neighbourhood, off Hesaraghatta Road.

We first visited Nagaraj’s home and learnt that he started driving an auto after he lost his father 12 years ago.  Nagaraj lives with his mother Bhagyamma and younger brother Hanumantha N, a first-year engineering student.

Bhagyamma is reeling from shock: relatives and neighbours are asking her why her son committed such as a crime. “We still don’t know the details. What we know is what we have gathered from newspaper reports and television news,” she told Metrolife, which visited her.

Hanumantha said Nagaraj often drove his auto late at night and had safely dropped women home. “He was in the midst of solving a financial problem and had pledged a piece of land to help a friend. That is when this incident took place,” he says.

 The family is bearing the brunt of the charge against Nagaraj. “The owners are understanding but some neighbours are telling them not to let us stay here any more. I am diabetic and deep in debt. Where do I go from here?” says Bhagyamma. She is hoping her son will be acquitted and life will return to normal.

 Kumar M, sub-inspector, Bagalgunte police station, says Nagaraj is behind bars.”We will file a chargesheet within a month. Whatever happened to this woman should not happen to anybody else,” he says.

 The neighbourhood where the incident of crime took place is surprised, too. “This is the first time such an incident has taken place. There was a chain-snatching incident four years ago but we haven’t heard of any crime here after that,” says Gangamma (name changed), living in the area for 15 years.   

Women have become more alert. “This could happen to any of us. My husband was suggesting we move out,” says Rukmini, who lives across the house where the incident took place.  The victim was treated at Sapthagiri Hospital on Hesaraghatta Road and was discharged late Saturday night.

Owner in a spot
The owner of the house where Nagaraj’s family lives is disturbed by the incident. “We are being asked to evict the family. We have always known them to be quiet and decent,” he says. News of the crime, shown on television, included footage of the house. “We may find it tough to rent out the house now,” the owner says.