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Accused kin held in state

Patna/Gaya, Dec. 19: A Delhi police team today detained the father and the brother of Akshay Thakur, one of the accused in the New Delhi gang rape case, from Aurangabad district.

Acting on a tip-off, a six-member police team reached Aurangabad yesterday and conducted a raid on the house of one Akshay Thakur at Lahangkarma village under Tandwa police station of the district, around 125km south-west from here.

As Akshay was not in the house during the raid, the visiting police team took into custody his brother Abhay Singh and father Saryug Singh. “The father and his son have been detained for interrogation,” said deputy inspector-general (Magadh range) N.H. Khan, denying reports about the arrest of Akshay alias Akshay Singh.

Akshay’s father is a farmer, while his brother is unemployed. “Abhay supports his father in farming,” an officer posted at Tandwa police station said.

The residents of Lahangkarma village told the Delhi police team members that Akshay was staying in the national capital for over a year. The Tandwa police expressed their ignorance about his criminal antecedents.

The Delhi police team headed by a senior inspector-rank officer later carried out raids at different hideouts to nab Akshay in the gang rape of a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in the national capital on Sunday night.

Director-general of police Abhayanand said instructions had been issued to the Aurangabad superintendent of police, Daljit Singh, to co-operate with the Delhi police team and help it in the investigation.

“It is true that a Delhi police team interrogated the brother and the father of one of the accused in the Delhi gang rape case. His arrest has not yet been confirmed,” the DGP told reporters.

Sources said Akshay was on duty in the bus in which the victim, a paramedic student, was raped. The perpetrators of the crime also thrashed the victim and her male friend. The duo were later thrown out of the running bus.

After the news of the incident spread, there were widespread protests all over the country yesterday. The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha saw members of all parties speaking in unison and raising concern over repeated incidents of rape in the capital, whose law and order comes directly under the Union home ministry.

Opposition members demanded a categorical assurance from home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde that such incidents would not recur.