The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Picture pointer in envoy rape

New Delhi, Oct. 25: After sweating it out for over 10 days without any lead, Delhi police are relieved that the Swiss diplomat — abducted at the Siri Fort Auditorium complex and raped — has indicated that two pictures sent to her resemble the assailants.

The police are, however, not disclosing the identities of the two whose photographs were e-mailed to the diplomat along with 25 others. Of the 27 photographs, 20 were sent by the south district police and seven by the crime branch.

Joint commissioner of police (south) Satish Chandra confirmed the diplomat had replied to the police’s e-mail. She is believed to have said these suspects resemble the two persons who attacked her.

But a senior Delhi police officer is sceptical. “Since she is not 100 per cent sure about the photographs, I have my doubts.”

The police, who have so far quizzed 6,500 people with features resembling the assailants, are now questioning the persons whose photographs were identified by the diplomat.

Around 80 per cent of the people questioned did not know English though the diplomat had said the assailants were conversing in that language.

Investigators believe the assailants were not habitual offenders because of the way in which they overpowered the victim in her car.

The diplomat was raped on October 14 after being overpowered while getting into her car. She was returning home from a film festival at the south Delhi auditorium.

The police are working on the hypothesis that the rapists knew the area and had a car waiting nearby.

Sleuths have procured data from the National Crime Records Bureau about persons involved in rape and molestation cases in the capital and adjoining areas.

Police have posted men in plain clothes outside leading hotels and bars, anticipating the accused might visit these places in search of another victim. But the efforts have not borne fruit, sources said.

Senior police officers added the fingerprints lifted from the Maruti 800 of Akansha Joshi, who defeated attempts to rape her the same day in the same area, did not match the prints of the suspects.

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