Alleged Serial Rapist Arrested But Bengaluru Still Worried

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Bengaluru residents said it was shocking that the rape accused had been arrested and released on bail.

Bengaluru:  Bengaluru is in shock after a 31-year-old man, accused of rape in 2014 and released on bail a year later, was arrested again by the police, who suspect that he raped two women who live in hostels in the city last week. A 23-year-old woman has told the police that she was raped at knife-point at her paying-guest accommodation by a man in HAL police station limits, close to the IT offices district. Three days later, another woman who lives in another hostel in the area said a man had robbed and sexually assaulted her.

Shivarama Reddy, 31, is accused of carrying out at least 16 robberies - and then raping many of the women he robbed - in different parts of Bengaluru. Police say he mainly targeted women living in PG accommodation.

Residents of the city are in deeply concerned. One young woman, Tanuja, said, "We don't have any security now. Only a cook or somebody will be there. That guy will only take care of everything. He has to cook as well. He has to take care of closing the gates as well. We need to have some extra person to take care of the security."

Meghana, who stays at another paying-guest accommodation, said, "We do have security cameras also but we later found out they are not working properly and they are not taking care of this. We are so, so scared. When our garments have gone missing, initially we thought that somebody from the PG is stealing. But later, one of my friend noticed that a guy enters the PG, steals all the girls garments, and goes out."

Police say that Reddy was shot while resisting arrest earlier this week and is receiving treatment in hospital for bullet injuries. This time, they have far stronger evidence against him.

Hemant Nimbalkar, Additional Commissioner of Police (East), said, "We had put the Goonda Act so that he would be in detention and off the streets. But after some time, he will get bail. It gives me pain, the law must move faster particularly in such cases and POCSO cases."

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