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'We wanted to rob cattle, landed up raping woman'

December 03, 2010 08:47 IST
They tanked up their vehicle with the intention of robbing cattle. On their prowl on Ring Road in Delhi, they noticed two women from northeast India sitting at the back of their call center cab. They could see the women through the window and decided to follow the cab -- just for kicks.

A little ahead, they saw the women being dropped on the Ring Road itself and the women started walking on the isolated stretch towards Moti Village.

Seeing that the women were alone, the five men -- all in their early 20s –decided to stop their car in front of the women. They wanted to kidnap both the women, but succeeded in kidnapping just one. They shoved her into the backseat of the car and as she screamed for help, the four men tore her clothes while the driver took the car to a desolated corner and stopped. Here they raped the 30-year-old woman one by one and later gave her Rs 150, so that she could hitch a ride back home.   

This is what the Delhi police learnt after they interrogated two of the accused -- Shamshad and Usman -- arrested for raping a woman from Mizoram. The third accused -- Shahid -- gave himself up on Thursday in Faridabad. However, the kingpin of the gang, Kamruddin who has been evading arrest for past six years in another gangrape case that took place in Faridabad in 2007, and another accused, Iqbal are still at large. 

After the rape, the men had taken off to Haryana's Mewat area, hid the vehicle in a remote village and went underground. 

A huge team of 500 policemen in plainclothes tracked them to Mewat's Dhauj and Tikri Kalan villages in the wee hours of Thursday.

 "We had to wear plainclothes since Mewat is known for its notorious criminals, who have easy access to firearms," a police officer told rediff.com.   

Delhi police commissioner BK Gupta said that accused could not have been arrested without the cooperation of the 'brave victim', who wanted to see her assaulters punished. The victim and her friend had hour-long conversations with the investigators, assisting them with minute details.

"The victim told us that the car in which she was raped had a flowery decoration. She also remembered a word written on the rear window of the vehicle," he said.

The accused had given the victim 15 notes of Rs 10 denomination each and interestingly, the police said, they were folded vertically. "It's a trend among criminals from Mewat to fold notes vertically and here's where we got our clue. Then we prepared a list of criminals from Mewat who had just got out of jail in and around the national capital region, and finally zeroed down on the accused," said deputy commissioner of police (south), HGS Dhaliwal, who led the operation.

The investigation was not easy. Fifteen police teams worked round-the-clock to catch the accused. Since the victim was not sure of the make of the car, police interrogated the owners of 3,245 vehicles before they nabbed Shamshad and Usman on Wednesday night.

The police have also recovered the vehicle in which the crime was committed.

Sahim Salim in New Delhi