BENGALURU: A school bus driver was on Tuesday arrested for allegedly raping a college girl and subjecting her to blackmail and extortion over the past fortnight in southwest Bengaluru.

Sanjeev Murthy, 28, allegedly raped the girl, aged 19, on October 25 when she was with a male friend in an abandoned house near Omkara Hills, Kengeri, off Mysore Road. He snatched her friend’s phone. Later, he began blackmailing her and demanding money to stay silent.

The incident came to light after Murthy’s extortion calls increased, and the traumatized girl confided in a family member who was associated with a pro-Kannada organization. The activists took the girl to Kengeri police on Tuesday evening.

Police swung into action, and used the stolen phone’s mobile signals to track down Murthy. They arrested him and booked him for rape, extortion, attempt to murder and blackmail.

The horror story began on October 25 when the girl and her friend went to Omkara Hills late evening. The duo was talking in an abandoned house when Murthy landed there. He snatched the boy’s mobile. When they began arguing with him for the mobile, Murthy attacked the boy and threatened to kill him if the girl didn’t remain silent.

The driver then allegedly raped the girl. Before leaving, he clicked a few photographs of her. The shocked girl, who didn’t want her parents to know what had happened, kept the incident under wraps.

But Murthy began calling her, threatening to circulate her photos on the Internet and tell her family she was having an affair, and demanded money. The girl obliged once and paid him the amount he demanded, but Murthy didn’t stop at that. He began repeating the blackmail calls, forcing her to pay up several times.

Unable to handle the torture, the girl decided to speak to a relative, who alerted leaders of the pro-Kannada organization.

Murthy and the girl will be sent for medical tests soon, police sources said. “The girl filed a complaint. DCP (west) Labhuram and other senior officers visited the spot of crime. Murthy is under interrogation,” additional commissioner of police (law and order) Alok Kumar said.