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4 Panaji art students held in rape

May 24, 2003 21:46 IST

Four senior art students and a canteen contractor have been arrested on a charge of gang-raping a junior student at a farewell function at the Goa College of Art in the state capital Panaji.

The police, however, have not yet confirmed the crime because the victim's medical report states that her hymen is intact.

"We cannot say anything until we talk to the victim and thoroughly interrogate the accused," Deputy Inspector General of Police Karnal Singh said.

Though the alleged incident occurred on May 17, the victim's mother filed a formal complaint only on May 23. The victim herself is under sedation in a private hospital.

According to the mother's complaint, the victim was drugged with a dope-laced cigarette during the farewell function for third-year students held in the college campus at around 1700 IST that day.

In collusion with canteen contractor Audhoot Dabholkar, the senior students allegedly took the victim into the college building and raped her in a toilet. According to the mother, the victim reached home at 1930 IST and was in 'high spirits'.

Though she was taken to the state-owned Goa Medical College Hospital the next day, Singh said she did not make any statement hinting at rape. The parents got her discharged from the hospital and then readmitted her to the private hospital on May 20.

The police are also looking for yet another accused student, who hails from Karnataka and may have gone back.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar personally visited the police headquarters today to monitor the investigation and transfer the case to the crime branch. Two women police inspectors are now handling the case.

Sandesh Prabhudesai in Panaji