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Two Dhaula Kuan Rapists Still Absconding

New Delhi, Dec 2: Two youths hailing from a Haryana village were arrested early this morning for allegedly raping a 30-year-old call-centre employee in south Delhi last week, with the police stepping up efforts to
PTI December 02, 2010 21:36 IST
New Delhi, Dec 2: Two youths hailing from a Haryana village were arrested early this morning for allegedly raping a 30-year-old call-centre employee in south Delhi last week, with the police stepping up efforts to apprehend two more suspects absconding in the case.

The arrests came following a week of investigations involving over 300 policemen and the technical support of an IIT professor who had earlier worked on al-Qaeda tapes besides that of a transport expert in identifying the make of the vehicle used in the crime by rummaging through CCTV footage.

Two of the five accused in the case are allegedly involved in separate cases of gang-rapes besides being booked for other crimes including attempt to murder and cow slaughter. One of them had surrendered before a Faridabad court a few days ago in a cow-slaughter case.

Shamshad (25) and Usman (25) were arrested last night from their hideouts in Dhaujj in Haryana's Mewat region following a raid on the village by a team of 310 policemen after investigators zeroed in on the criminals.

Feeling the heat, Shahid (25) surrendered before a Faridabad court in a cow-slaughter case and efforts are on to get his production warrant and question him in connection with the case, police said. The absconding accused are Kamru (25) and Iqbal (25). All of them belong to Dhaujj village.

Usman was arrested in a case of gangrape along with his three maternal uncles and brother in 2006 in Faridabad Sector 55 while Kamru was arrested in another rape case along with his cousin and another associate.

"It was a big challenge to catch them. It was a totally blind case. The culprits had left no clue, even their vehicle bore no number. Zeroing in on the main suspects was therefore a herculean task," Delhi Police Commissioner B K Gupta told a press conference.

The Mizo woman was abducted allegedly by the gang at around 1:10 am on November 24 while she was walking towards her rented accommodation in Moti village near Dhaula Kuan along with her colleague after being dropped by their office cab from their workplace in Gurgaon.

According to Gupta, the accused spotted the women in the call-centre cab and started trailing them. "The moment they saw the cab dropping the women and leaving the spot, they thought it was an opportunity and abducted the victim. However, her colleague managed to escape," he said.

Giving details about the investigations, Joint Commissioner (Southern Range) and Deputy Commissioner H G S Dhaliwal said a Constable and a Head Constable stayed in Mewat for the past five days to collect intelligence reports.

"The victim also told police that the rear side of the suspected vehicle was decorated with flower-type painting. She also told us that she had been given 15 currency notes of 10 denomination vertically wrapped with a rubber band," Patnaik said.

Gupta said these peculiarities and the "audacious way and professionalism" in committing crime and the time of incident suggested that some gangs from Mewat could be involved in the incident.

"Particularly, the Rs 10 notes vertically folded with a rubber band pointed toward a few particular types of probable group of criminals. It was ascertained that currency notes of Rs 10 denomination are normally kept in bundles by Mewati criminals to pay toll tax," he said.

The investigations then centred around Mewat and various teams verified the role of various gangs and the movements of their members at the relevant time and found that two gangs were active during that night in the area of South Delhi, Dhaliwal said.

"The location and movements of each and every member of these gangs were verified. Meanwhile, it was found that a member of one of gangs had surrendered in a Faridabad court a day after the incident in an old case, which aroused doubt," he said.

During interrogation, Dhaliwal said, the duo told police that they were under the influence of alcohol and seizing the opportunity that the girls were walking alone from the main Ring Road, they decided to abduct them.

"We cannot say they were on the prowl. They saw an opportunity and they seized it. They used to roam around Delhi and when they found they was an oppurtunity to commit a crime, they would use it like breaking open shutters and decamping with articles," Patnaik said.

The three accused sitting in the front seat of the vehicle intercepted them by blocking the narrow road leading to their house and Kamru allegedly abducted the victim at gunpoint and put her in the front seat of the vehicle.

"Later, when they reached in Mongolpuri, they parked their vehicle in a desolate area and took the victim to rear side of the vehicle and sexually assaulted her. After this, they gave her some money so that she could take conveyance back home, and drove away back to Mewat," Gupta said.

Patnaik said, "had not she been dropped there or the security guard accompanied the victim to her house, this incident would not have happened."

Before zeroing in on the Mewat gang, investigators had verified the antecedents of 400 drivers and conductors of the victim's employer. Entire route was also checked for obtaining any clue including footage from the CCTV cameras en route.  

"Tempo stands and transporters who may be having or working on such type of vehicles. 338 workers and vendors were examined and verified. Three groups whose activities were found suspected were thoroughly questioned," Dhaliwal said.

A police team also focussed its investigations on Mongolpuri area where the they checked on the local criminals who had been involved in such crimes and the persons who were using tempos particularly at night.  

"72 dossiers of criminals were scrutinised and 3,245 tempos of similar description given by the victim were checked in outer Delhi area and adjoining areas of Haryana.  

"Around 110 industrial units and tent shops around the area where the victim was dropped was thoroughly checked to find out any possible clue," Dhaliwal said.

105 cases of gang rapes in NCR in the past few years were thoroughly analysed and location of the offenders was also checked. Criminals, who were released on bail, involved in similar crimes were also interrogated.

Gupta said the PCR call was made 20 minutes after the incident and a Constable who reached the spot could not comprehend what the victim was speaking as he was not proficient in English. "However, the Constable left his other colleague there and followed the route taken by the accused."

Patnaik said the accused were "very familiar" with the Delhi roads and managed to evade all major roads.

The five men had purchased the Mahindra pick-up van for Rs 1.4 lakh recently from one Jaikam, a resident of Utavad in Faridabad. "If we were late by a day or two in zeroing in on them, we would have lost the case. They would have managed to sell it and the case was gone," a senior police official said.

The official said Shamshad, an illiterate man, was arrested in three cases of cow-theft. In 2008, he was arrested in a cow slaughtering case in Welcome area of Delhi while he was working as a labourer in a shop in Kabutar Market. PTI