Event coordinators, who lured dancer and raped her, arrested
Authorities are now investigating if the two accused, Happy D'Souza and Ajay Sharma alias Ali, had also conned other women in the past and victimised them
The two coordinators, who had sent a 26-year-old dancer to Hyderabad for a New Year’s Eve performance following which she was drugged, raped and then put back in a bus to the city, have been arrested by the Hyderabad police. Cops said that the two, identified as Happy D’Souza and Ajay Sharma alias Ali, were arrested from their office in Lokhandwala and a bar at Amboli respectively on Friday. Cops also arrested three other men from Hyderabad namely Venkaraju, Harikrishna and Ravi.
Hyderabad police authorities have also asked the Mumbai police to help in determining if the two had been running a racket and if there were any other women who had been victims of their scam. According to Police Inspector Vijay Chauhan, Versova police station, as soon as they registered the case and then transferred it to Hyderabad, the survivor was asked to return to Hyderabad and give her statement.
According to her statement and call records, they noted that it was Happy who had informed her of the show, and had promised her a sum of Rs 1 lakh for the performance. During her statement, the 26-year-old had also told them that one of the five accused who had gang-raped her was a verbally impaired man. Following investigations, cops narrowed down on these five and during an identification parade, she identified all five of them.
“However, during interrogations, the cops realised that all five accused could speak. It was then that Happy said that he had not spoken at that time, as the woman would have been able to identify his voice from the phone calls he had made to her in the past,” said G Palraju, deputy commissioner of police, Hyderabad.
He added, “We have asked the Mumbai police to help us find other women who have been victimised by Happy and Ali.” Cops added that Venkaraju had gotten in touch with Happy through a sex worker. The two were in touch and on New Year’s Eve, Venkaraju had asked Happy to arrange for a girl to ‘have a good time with’. It was then that Happy hatched the plan and lured the woman to Hyderabad.
On January 2, the 26-year-old walked into the Versova police station with her clothes thrown on backwards. She told the policemen there she had been gang-raped after being drugged by four men in Hyderabad, looted, and then placed in a Mumbai-bound bus while she was still unconscious. In her complaint, she said that she had gone to Hyderabad to perform, for which she had been promised Rs 1 lakh. However, two days later, she woke up in a luxury bus bound for Borivli, wearing her clothes backwards and with the knowledge that she had been raped.