Two held in Mysore for raping Australian tourist

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Mysore: Two young men were arrested Monday for allegedly raping an Australian tourist last week in a lodge at Channapatna, about 84 km from here, a police officer said.

“We have taken the accused Chandra Vishwash (25) and Shunkul Gowda (22) into custody for investigation under sections 376 and 354 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for allegedly raping Mercy Luz, 26, an Australian woman, who came to India early this month,” Lakshmipuram police station inspector V. Suryanarayana Rao said.

Though the incident took place on the intervening night of June 24-25, Luz lodged the complaint with the police late Sunday after she escaped from the lodge and returned to the city where she is staying as a paying guest in the Chamarajapuram suburb.

Luz, a nurse in a private hospital at Paddington in eastern suburb of Sydney, flew into India June 11 on a six-month tourist visa and came to Mysore June 13.

“We were able to locate Vishwash from his mobile number which was with Luz, whom he befriended and offered to take her to Bangalore on sight-seeing and shopping in his car. On a tip-off, we also traced his friend Gowda, who accompanied them on the trip,” Rao said.

According to the FIR (first information report) registered against the accused on Luz’s complaint, while returning to Mysore from Bangalore, the duo forced her to stay for the night in Irish Lodge at Channapatna on the pretext that it was already past midnight and the car was giving trouble.

“Taking advantage of Luz being alone, Vishwash barged into her room and raped her. When Gowda too attempted to rape her, she resisted and threw him out and shut herself inside for the night. She ventured out of the room the following morning (June 25) by which time the accused disappeared from the lodge,” Rao said, quoting from the FIR.

As Karnataka’s cultural capital and a heritage city, Mysore attracts thousands of tourists from across the country and overseas every week.

“We have sent the victim to a state-run hospital for medical examination. If rape is confirmed, we will seek judicial custody of the accused for trial and stringent punishment, as the fair image of the city as a popular tourist spot is at stake,” Rao added. (IANS)