5 Arrested In Mysuru Gang-Rape Case, Says Karnataka Top Cop

All five are labourers from Tamil Nadu's Tiruppur district, the Karnataka top cop said, adding that one of the accused "looks like a juvenile"

The young woman's gang-rape has triggered furious protests across the country

Bengaluru:

Five people have been arrested in connection with the gang-rape of a student in Mysuru and a vicious assault on her friend, Karnataka DGP Praveen Sood said on Saturday.

A sixth accused is on the run and the police are working to hunt him down, he said.

All five are labourers from Tamil Nadu's Tiruppur district, Mr Sood said, adding that one of those arrested seemed to be a juvenile; "... a 17-year-old. We are not sure... we are verifying," he said.

The Karnataka top cop, whose force had been criticised for not making any arrests following the horrific events of Tuesday evening, also said, "It is a sensitive case. We have technical and scientific evidence."

The young woman - a 22-year-old MBA student from Maharashtra studying at a Mysuru university - and her friend were attacked at Chamundi Hills (a popular tourist spot on the outskirts of the city) late Tuesday evening.

A group of men, allegedly drinking, saw the couple go into the forests and followed them. The horror that followed landed the two in hospital about six hours later.

The men surrounded the couple and demanded money. When they refused to pay, the men beat the young woman's friend and two of the accused allegedly raped her and inflicted severe injuries.

Police have been unable to record the young woman's statement so far, Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra has said, because she is still in shock.

The brutal and terrifying incident triggered furious protests in Karnataka and across the country.

It also triggered two outrageous and shocking comments from Mr Jnanendra.

The first was his claiming that the young woman and her friend "should not have gone there" - a remark many have seen as one that underscores the victim-blaming culture that is still rampant in sexual assault cases in this country and others.

The second was his equating the opposition Congress' protests against that horrible remark to an act of rape; he called it "an inhuman act".

Mr Jnanendra later withdrew his "rape" comment.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai criticised his minister for the remark.

Earlier the Mysore University issued a circular prohibiting female students from moving about its Mansangotriya campus after 6.30 pm. A similar order was issued barring their entry to the Kukkarahalli Lake campus after 6.30 pm.

Both orders, the university said, were issued "on the verbal direction of the police department"