Dharmapuri (TN): In what is likely to be the first such instance of invoking the Goondas Act against rapists, four persons, arrested for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl about two years ago, were Wednesday detained under the stringent Act in Dharmapuri district, police said.
Superintendent of Police Asra Garg said the four gangsters had kidnapped and taken her to a deserted area near the District Cooperative Sugar Mills colony at Palacode, 40 km from here, and raped her on October 24, 2011.
The girl was studying in Government school at Palacode and the gang had abducted her while she was returning.
R Jayaraj, K Raghu, M Arumugam and M Marimuthu had fled the spot but were subsequently arrested under IPC sections 366 (kidnap) and 376 (rape), the SP said.
After being released on bail, they had committed many offences in Palacode including theft, he said.
As the case chargesheet was not filed in Court, the SP ordered follow-up action. Based on crime records and reports, Inspector Thangraj arrested the four criminals and filed a 1000-page charge sheet against them under various IPC sections and Women`s Harassment Act in the Court recently, the SP said.
Based on the SP`s recommendations, Collector R Lilly detained them under Goondas Act today and they have been lodged in Salem Central prison, police said.
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had earlier this month pitched for higher punishment for rape and asserted that efforts would be taken to bring sexual assault cases under the purview of Goondas Act as such incidents had the potential to disturb peace.
Expressing grief over the death of the 23-year-old Delhi gang-rape victim, Jayalalithaa had said Centre would be urged to amend laws to ensure maximum punishment of death penalty and chemical castration for those responsible for rapes. She also announced a 13-point action plan to ensure women`s safety and prevent incidents of sexual harassment.