Police find missing Hyderabad girl abandoned; 16-year-old allegedly raped

The accused, Sandeep Reddy (28), who has been working as a driver with the private taxi aggregator app Rapido, was arrested.

ByDeepika Pasham

Published May 23, 2024 | 3:54 PMUpdatedMay 23, 2024 | 5:05 PM

Rape of minor

A sixteen-year-old girl who had gone missing in Hyderabad was found abandoned on 21 May by a man who had also allegedly raped her, police said on Wednesday, 22 May.

The girl’s mother had filed a complaint saying that her daughter had been missing since the night of 19 May. During the course of the investigation, the Tukaram Gate Police found the girl abandoned in an area under their station limits.

The accused, Sandeep Reddy (28), who has been working as a driver with the private taxi aggregator app Rapido, was arrested.

The Nalgonda resident, who was in Hyderabad in search of a job and working with Rapido, had allegedly raped the girl.

Meanwhile, Rapido clarified that the girl did not book any ride with the app and that the accused was not connected with it at the time of the event.

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Case filed under POCSO Act

The officials investigating the case said that a case under Section 363 (kidnapping) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act has been registered.

“The mother of the girl had filed a missing complaint on 20 May. We acted quickly and found the girl on 21 May after we followed the clues,” an official of the Tukaram Gate Police Station told South First.

“We initially registered a case under 363 of the IPC. Later, we confirmed that the girl was raped and relevant sections of the POCSO Act were added,” the official added.

According to the police, the girl went out on the night of 19 May and met the accused after that, who took her around to several places. Subsequently, the accused left the girl and fled.

“We will produce the accused in court and the case will be probed further,” added the police.

The complaint

According to the FIR, Mahindra Hills resident Bhagyamma — a fish vendor — filed a missing person complaint saying that her daughter has been missing.

She has been residing in the locality for the past 25 years. She has two daughters and it was her younger daughter — studying intermediate 1st year in a private college at East Marredpally — who had gone missing.

In the complaint, the mother said that all of them fell asleep at around 9 pm on 19 May and when the mother woke up at around 11.30 pm, her younger daughter was not at the house.

The family searched all nearby places and enquired with her friends, relatives and neighbours but could not find her. However, when they checked the phone in the house, there was a missed call from an unknown number.

Detailing the events, the family filed the complaint.

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Rapido issues clarification

The cab aggregator said that the alleged ride of the minor girl with the accused did not happen through it.

“We are deeply troubled by the recent incident involving a minor girl in Hyderabad. Our thoughts are with the victim and her family during this difficult time. At Rapido, the safety and security of our customers is our utmost priority. We want to clarify that this ride did not take place on our platform, and the victim did not book any ride through Rapido. The accused was not on a Rapido ride at the time of this tragic event,” a Rapido spokesperson said.

“Rapido maintains a zero-tolerance policy for any form of misconduct. All Rapido captains undergo rigorous background verification during the onboarding process to ensure the safety of our customers,” the spokesperson added.

(Edited by Muhammed Fazil)