Hyderabad rape case: How did victim’s alleged video get leaked?

Hyderabad: A ten second video clip of a woman, claimed to be the 17-year-old gang rape survivor, sharing intimate moments with a male person found its way to social media groups, whatsapp and other platforms over the last few days. How this happened, is more than a mystery for the law enforcement agencies.

The 17-year-old was allegedly raped by a group of persons in a car at Jubilee Hills on May 28. The victim was reportedly lured by the group of youngsters including three juveniles who offered her a lift in their car. The group had attended a party at Amnesia pub at Jubilee Hills prior to the incident. Four persons including three juveniles have been arrested by the police in the case until now .

The 10 second video clip in which four men and a woman are seen in the car was made public by none other than lawmaker and BJP MLA Raghunandan Rao at a press conference last Saturday only to support his allegation that the son of an AIMIM party MLA was present in the car. However, more damage was done than good in the case with the identity of the victim made public.

Sruthi Gupta, an activist from the city said those who are known to the victim will easily identify her. “Acquaintances, friends, neighbours and college friends who see the girl daily or even occasionally can identify the girl easily. It is a childish statement of the public representative who is saying the face is covered or blurred,” she lamented.

Soon after the video was shown by the BJP MLA to reporters at the party office during a press meet on Saturday, the police went into a hurdle. Officials from the Task Force, special branch and even local intelligence officials held a meeting to investigate how the video leaked and reached the BJP leaders.

While the blame game continues, the fact that how the video leaked and reached social media will act as a fear factor to women coming forward to come and report such instances in future for fear of social stigma. “Woman will no longer trust the investigation agencies. The faith in police is lost for now,” Gupta lamented.

Social media flush with rumours

Rumours mills are churning more and more interesting theories, that there is some internal fight going on between different law enforcement agencies that lead to video leak or something ill feeling between different officers. However, these are just rumours and the enquiry is still going on.

Another theory going around is that the case took a political turn after Bhartiya Janata Party recognized it to be a good burning issue that will help it garner public sympathy, as the case can be fodder for its cannon to target the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi party.

The timing of the video’s release also came when reports of the city police giving a ‘near clean chit’ to the AIMIM legislator’s son itself raised doubts on the motive of the persons who made the video/ picture public. Soon content went viral on social media platforms.

A senior retired police official pointed out the video might have been leaked by either relatives of any of the accused who were arrested to prevent the AIMIM MLA son, if at all he is involved, from escaping the case and arrest. He added that a group of political party leaders who wanted the focus out from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi party and fall on the AIMIM party.

As per the POCSO Act it is mandatory for even the investigation officer of the case not to reveal the name, identity or other details of the victim or her family to anyone. In First Information Report and other related reports the details are not mentioned. “In a sealed cover” is how they write in the column of personal details and submit the details before the court or other competent authorities in a sealed cover.

Now with the videos of the victim reaching millions of people one has to see how the police react to the leak and if they initiate any probe or any action against the persons who leaked it allegedly for their own benefits.