Eighth accused in Bangalore gang rape arrested

Bangalore, Sep 10 (IANS) The absconding eighth accused in the gang rape of a law student in Bangalore University campus last year, was arrested Tuesday - six days after a fast track court sentenced six of his accomplices to life imprisonment.

"Muthuraj alias Raja, 24, who hails from the neighbouring Ramanagar district and was absconding since the date of crime (Oct 10, 2012) has been arrested by the Jnana Bharati police today (Tuesday)," a senior police official told reporters here.

Raja is also accused of being involved earlier in three other criminal cases, including attempt to murder and robbery.

"The fast track court has remanded Raja to 14 days judicial custody after he was produced before the sessions' judge (K. Sangannavar) for interrogation and further investigation,"said Additional Commissioner of Police Kamal Pant.

As the seventh accused is a minor, he is being tried separately in the juvenile justice court here.

"The prosecution will seek stringent punishment to Raja as in the case of six convicts so that the sentence will deter others from indulging in such a heinous crime," Pant said.

The 21-year-old victim, who hails from Nepal, was the third year student of the state-run National Law School of India University, which is adjacent to the Jnana Bharati campus, about 20km from the city centre.

The six accused were convicted under section 376 (g) of the Indian Penal Code for gang-rape, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, and other relevant sections of the IPC.

According to public prosecutor Sanjya Kumar Bhatt, the court had also directed the victim to claim compensation for the physical scar and lasting mental scar from the criminal injuries board.

"Justifying the maximum sentence, the judge said punishment should meet the seriousness and gravity of the crime, which involved not just the physical torture, but also the mental trauma of the victim that won't go away for long time," Bhatt said quoting from the judgement.

The judge also took into account the pubic abhorrence of such heinous crimes in recent times across the country in deciding lifer for the convicted.

The six convicts -- Rama and Yaliyaiah (both 23 years), Maddura, Shivanna and Erayya (all 20 years) and Doddaerayya (19 years) - are residents of Bangalore Rural and Ramnagara districts.

The incident took place when the victim was on a walk in the sprawling green campus along with her male friend.

Taking advantage of the secluded spot and darkness, the gang bashed up the friend and sexually assaulted the victim after taking her forcibly into the nearby bushes.

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