In a possible hate crime, a 34-year-old member of the LGBTQ+ community in Bengaluru was allegedly abducted, tortured and robbed on January 10 by a person befriended on an online dating app. The incident happened in Madiwala where the victim had gone to meet the person and the accused allegedly took the victim to a flat on Venkateshwara College Road, where two more people joined in and assaulted the victim.
The case came to the fore after a friend of the victim took to social media to express concern over the police response, stating that despite the victim providing the accused's ID on the app and a trail of UPI transactions used for extortion, none of the suspects have been apprehended even after a week.
The victim told Bangalore Mirror newspaper that the accused punched him in the face and attacked his with a dagger, causing him to bleed. They also used pliers to pluck his hair on his scalp, the victim said, adding that the three people even filmed the violent act. According to the Hindu newspaper, the victim was also urinated upon by the accused and forced to clean his blood from the floor.
The accused allegedly tortured the victim, coerced him into revealing passwords and extorted Rs 52,000 through ATM withdrawals and UPI payments, in addition to stealing belongings valued at Rs 75,000.
The Bengaluru police registered case two day later, with charges that many believe do not adequately reflect the severity of the crime. The three accused reportedly physically assaulted the victim and threatened dire consequences and demanded money.
After escaping from the apartment, the victim sought medical attention at a private hospital on Hosur Road before reporting the incident to the police. The FIR, however, charged the unidentified accused under sections 324 (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), and 504 (abusive, insulting language intentionally) of the IPC, drawing criticism for what some perceive as a lack of appropriate charges.
The Bengaluru police reportedly said that they have launched an investigation into the crime and will apprehend the culprits soon.