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Gang rapes teen on Delhi bus - Twice bitten, cops get cracking

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Delhi
  • Published 11.08.05
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Some of the accused outside Patiala House Court in New Delhi on Thursday. Picture by Prem Singh

New Delhi, Aug. 11: A 16-year-old girl was gangraped in a bus late last night but her assaulters were arrested soon after as the capital’s police, slammed for slow response to two similar recent incidents, swung into action within minutes of being informed.

One of the six accused of the rape was an acquaintance of the teenager.

R.S. Yadav, the deputy commissioner of police, south west ? the same region where the two earlier incidents took place ? said the girl boarded the private Blueline bus on route 578 at Shiv Murti around 9.30 last night.

She travelled till the bus reached its last stop in Dichau Kalan, Najafgarh, where she met Narender, a 19-year-old bus helper, and they talked for a while. Narender then called her inside the bus where he and the five others took turns raping her.

The police reached the spot minutes after an anonymous caller dialled the control room number around 1.30 am and arrested the six. Besides Narender, the others arrested are the two drivers, one of them is also called Narender and the other Rajbir, both are 24; the two conductors, Vikas, 20, and Shekhar, 24; and a local trader, Sandip Ahuja, 24.

A medical examination later confirmed that she had been criminally assaulted.

“The girl is in a traumatised state. She has not been able to say much and we are taking care of her now,” said additional DCP, south west, Shalini Singh. Swarn Chetna, a non-government organisation is counselling the girl. The accused have been remanded in judicial custody till August 13.

Police sources said the girl, the daughter of a sweeper, had run away from her home in Mahipalpur village in the Vasant Kunj area after a fight with her parents. She was missing for the last three or four days and her parents had lodged a missing persons report at the Vasant Kunj police station.

Last night’s incident has again underlined how vulnerable women are in the national capital. On May 8, a Delhi University college student from the Northeast was abducted by four men in a Santro and gangraped. The police were informed within minutes of the abduction but reacted late. Till date, they have managed to arrest only one of the culprits.

Last month, a pregnant housewife was abducted by three men in a Maruti who raped her as they drove around the city. The police came under fire for failing to register a complaint and sound an alert for the car though they were informed of the abduction immediately.

A preliminary inquiry revealed that there was a long time lag between the incident and registration of the complaint as the police stations at Mayapuri and Hari Nagar could not decide where it should be filed. As a result, the search for the car was delayed by more than three hours.

After the two rape cases, Union home minister Shivraj Patil summoned Delhi police commissioner K.K. Paul and demanded an explanation on the deteriorating law and order in the capital.