Five people suspected of assaulting a Tanzanian woman here were arrested early on Thursday, Police Commissioner N.S. Megharik said.
“We have arrested the five accused after interrogating them on Wednesday night under detention in the criminal case registered on the victim’s statement in a road rage incident in the city’s northern suburb,” Megharik told IANS here.
The arrested are Lokesh, Banagiri, Ramaiah, Banu Prakash and Rahamatullah.
In a case of mistaken identity, an angry mob assaulted Lina Martin, 21, suspecting her to be a friend of a Sudanese student whose car ran over a woman pedestrian on Sunday night.
Mohammad Ahad Ismail, 20, in a case of drunken driving fatally ran his car Shabana Taz, 35, and injured her husband K. Sanaullah.
“Arrests were made on the basis of eye witnesses accounts and video footage from closed circuit television cameras (CCTV) in the area,” Megharik said.
Later, Karnataka Home Minister G. Parameshwara told reporters that more arrests are likely as the case of sexual assault was also registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and transferred to the city police crime branch for investigation by city’s Additional Police Commissioner (law and order) Charan Reddy.
“It is not a racial attack but a road rage by a frenzied mob on the spur of the moment over the death of a woman in the car mishap when she was crossing the road with her husband (K. Sanaullah) on the Hessaraghatta road,” Parameshwara pointed out.
“Bangaloreans don’t have such a mindset to attack anyone on racial grounds,” the minister asserted.
Sudanese national Mohammad Ahad Ismail, 20, an MBA student, who caused the mishap, was arrested for drunken driving and causing Shabana’s death. The mob attacked him before police came and rescued him on Sunday night.
“Attack on Ismail and assault on the Tanzanian woman (Lina) are not connected as both incidents occurred one km apart and after a 30-minute gap,” Parameshwar clarified to the media.
Angry at Shabana’s death in the mishap caused by a Sudanese, another violent mob mistakenly targetted Lina and burnt her WagonR car in which she was with three male friends and passing through the area, assuming her to be Ismail’s friend.
In her statement, Lina denied being stripped or paraded naked but said she was assaulted and molested by the mob when her T-shirt got torn off in the melee.
When Lina’s Tanzanian friend Junail Ibrahim, who was at the wheel, tried to stop the angry mob from assaulting her, he too was thrashed.
They are undergraduate students of business management in a private college.
An Iranian student, who was present at the spot, came to their rescue and took them to a nearby hospital for treatment.
About 12,000 students of various countries are studying in colleges across the city.
“We will take steps to ensure safety and security of all foreign students but will deal with them sternly if they violate the law and indulge in anti-national activities,” Parameshwara said.