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Rape probe draws blank

Police are yet to identify the taxi in which a 13-year-old girl was allegedly raped while it was being driven around late on Sunday. Sleuths said they are banking on residents’ accounts and footage from security cameras for clues.

“If we get to know the route the taxi had taken, we can collect footage of vehicles captured by security cameras at intersections and identify its number,” said an officer. “We are trying to speak to a few who might have seen the taxi.”

“We are trying our best to locate the taxi but till Tuesday night we have not met with success. A dedicated team of officers is working on the case,” said Pallab Kanti Ghosh, joint commissioner of police (crime), Calcutta police.

Two security cameras are installed at the Park Street-JL Nehru and the Park Street-Camac Street crossings but the pictures of moving vehicles captured by them are not clear enough to make out the registration numbers.

The 13-year-old girl was allegedly raped between Sunday night and early on Monday and dumped near the Ripon Street shanty where she lives around 3.30am. Police said the 13-year-old was walking down Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road around 11pm on Sunday when Mohammad Anwar, arrested for the rape, called her from a taxi and offered her food.

Anwar, according to the complaint, was in the rear seat of the taxi with another man. Once inside, Anwar allegedly rolled up the windows and asked the cabbie to drive. He then allegedly raped her.

Anwar, who worked in a roadside eatery near the girl’s home, has been remanded in police custody till December 31.

A preliminary medical report has confirmed the teenager had been subjected to sexual intercourse, the police said. Her vaginal swab has been sent for forensic tests. The sleuths are trying to get sketches of the suspects drawn based on the girl’s account.

The incident has prompted the police to make special security arrangements in the Park Street area on Christmas, when thousands will visit the area. A team of special officers of the traffic department will conduct special raids on six intersections around Park Street.

“These teams will be deployed even on Christmas. They will be on job from 7pm till further orders,” said an officer.