Bangalore rape: Lens on nomadic tribe members

Probe into a case of gangrape on the Bangalore University campus of a 20-year-old second-year law student from the neighbouring National Law School of India University on the night of October 13 has narrowed down to members of a nomadic, reclusive tribe — the Hakki Pikkis — who are known to roam wooded areas and forests at night to hunt birds and wildlife.

Over the last couple of days, police teams from Bangalore have raided the outskirts of Bangalore and picked up at least five people linked to the tribe. Sources said they are now being quizzed.

The 20-year-old National Law School student from Nepal was parked up in a car with a boyfriend, an IT consultant with IBM from Kerala, around 9:30 pm on Saturday in a forest-like area surrounding the Bangalore University campus, when they were attacked by a group of eight people, according to the complaint filed by the law student.

The victim in her complaint to the police has said she was gangraped by eight persons and have in descriptions of the attackers said some of them were carrying axes and sticks with one of them being nearly 50 years of age and the others in their 20s. A window of the car was smashed open with a blunt instrument since the victim and her friend had taken the precaution of locking the car doors from inside.

On the basis of the victim's statement and from technical investigations including information from cellphone towers for cell activity in the region of the crime, police narrowed down the search to members of the nomadic community and carried out detentions.

The police are yet to announce any breakthrough in the case. A senior police official said probe was on and the Hakki Pikki tribe angle is one of them.

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