Ten days after a 25-year-old woman in Hyderabad claimed to have been raped over 5,000 times by 139 men, the victim has now revealed that the allegations were ‘partially true’ and was made under duress.. The victim had made the appalling claim that people from various walks of life – from the film industry, lawyers, anchors, journalists, and student leaders have raped her.
The 25-year-old woman on Monday, addressing a press conference in Hyderabad, said that she was forced to make name some innocent people after being threatened by a person identified as Raja Sreekar Reddy alias Dollar Bhai. The complainant said that she got in touch with the accused for a job opportunity, who on the pretext of providing a job took the opportunity to sexually exploit her and blackmail her using her private pictures.
“Only due to pressure I was forced to make rape allegations against 139 people. I was beaten badly to make a complaint against these persons. All the fake allegations which I made in the press were tutored by him,” the woman said.
“Why are you including their names, I had asked him. I said we should name only those who harassed and raped me. For this, he physically and mentally tortured me…He threatened to kill my family and forced me to add names. I told him that many people who had no relation to me were being named and I said that this would be unjust. I fought with him. In response to this, he beat me and I went to the police station and filed a complaint with that pain,” she said, according to The Times of India.
The woman, a resident of Hyderabad, extended an apology to two film actors who were named in her complaint and cleared their names. “The 139 people did not rape me. I was threatened to file a complaint against them. I am sorry for it,” she said.
She alleged that besides threatening to kill her and her family members, Sreekar had her private photos and videos, which he used to threaten her.
The woman claimed that not all the 139 persons in the police complaint had raped her; however, some of them did rape and sexually harass her, she maintained. The woman alleged that Raja Sreekar did this act for fame.
“Now that people and organizations have come to back me, I am telling the whole truth. I am only wishing punishment for those who really raped, harassed, and blackmailed me. After a lot of discussions with my family, I have come forward to tell the full truth. I want to say sorry to those who I named who had no connection with the case. I know that the media may think I’m going back on my previous statements, but I only want to ensure that no woman goes through what I went through and I just want my photos and videos deleted. I want police to take action on those people,” she said according to 10TV News.
The Hyderabad Central Crime Station (CCS) police who are probing the case after it was handed over to them by the Punjagutta police, have identified the accused Srikar Reddy and sealed his NGO office. Special teams have been formed to search for the accused who is absconding since the press conference of the victim.
Earlier on August 20, the Panjagutta police had filed a case against 139 persons, including some women, following the complaint, which claimed that she was sexually exploited more than 5,000 times by 139 persons over the last 10 years.
She had claimed that she was gang-raped, drugged, forcibly made to dance, and also inflicted with cigarette burn injuries among several other allegations.
Police at Panjagutta had lodged an FIR in the case, invoking sections 376 (2) (public servant committing rape taking advantage of his official position), 509 (insulting modesty of a woman), and 354 (assault of criminal force with an intent to outrage modesty) of the Indian Penal Code. Relevant sections of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 have been invoked as well.
The police had previously declared her mentally fit and capable of aiding them in the investigation which they felt would lead to a bigger racket.
These new revelations have certainly changed the pace and direction of the case. Assistant Commissioner of Police, K Sreedevi, who is investigating the case, reacting to the latest development said, “After recording the statements of the victim, further action would be taken.”