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President guards in rape net

New Delhi, Oct. 8: Four armymen, posted as presidential guards, have been arrested for allegedly gangraping a student in broad daylight in a park.

Manish, Satinder, Kuldeep and Harpreet of the cavalry unit of the presidential guards allegedly committed the crime at the Buddha Jayanti park near Dhaula Kuan in southwest Delhi around noon on Monday.

A senior Delhi police officer said Harpreet had been arrested on Monday itself while the others were caught yesterday. They were remanded in judicial custody till October 22 by a city court today.

The victim, a 17-year-old student of Jesus and Mary college, said in her complaint that she had gone to the park, which is near her college, with a friend around 10.30 am on Monday. Soon after, the four accused, in army uniform bearing a presidential guards tag, approached them and began teasing her. The girl, a resident of southwest Delhi, and her friend decided to leave the park to escape the harassment.

The accused prevented them from leaving and proceeded to assault the friend as she tried to intervene. Police sources said the four men then forcibly took the girl to a secluded corner and gangraped her.

The victim and her friend lodged a complaint at Chanakyapuri police station. Officials said medical examination conducted on the victim had confirmed the rape.

“Army authorities have taken a very serious note of the alleged involvement of the soldiers in the incident,” a defence spokesman said in an official statement. “The army is committed to provide all necessary help to the police to see the culprits (are) punished speedily.”

He said the accused had been handed over to the police as the provisions of the Army Act do not apply in such cases.

A senior army officer and his wife visited the victim’s parents to express regret.

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