The six men, who allegedly gang-raped a young girl in a moving bus here on Sunday, were apparently so confident they will not be caught that the assailants carried on with their routine chores the next day while one brought back the vehicle to his house.
But luck ran out for the men within 24 hours as police, who were aided by the description provided by the victims about the vehicle, zeroed in on them and even arresting one from Rajasthan where he was in hiding.
Just before raping the 23-year-old para-medical student in a moving bus on Sunday night and beating her male friend who tried to protect her, the gang of six men, two of them still absconding, looted a carpenter by providing him a lift in the bus.
These details that emerged during the ongoing probe into the dastardly crime were given by Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar at a news conference today.
The arrested have been identified as driver Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh, Pawan, a fruit seller, and Vinay, an assistant instructor in a gymnasium. Two persons Akshay Thakur and Raju are still on the run.
"Pawan and Vinay went back to their normal vocations and pretended nothing happened while Ram Singh and Akshay took the bus to Noida in the early hours of Monday to avoid being caught.
"But later Ram Singh thought nothing would happen and brought the vehicle back to R K Puram where it was detected on secret information and while all similar vehicles were being checked," Kumar said.
Just before heading for a joyride, he said, they had a party. Ram Singh and his helper Akshay had cooked chicken and had a small party along with his younger brother Mukesh, also a driver-cum-cleaner and staying in the same neighbourhood.
"They decided to go for a joy ride and have fun while picking some extra bucks from giving lift to people so that more drinks can be bought," Chhaya Sharma, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South), said.
Akshay then took out the vehicle and Vinay and Pawan joined them for the ride. But when they finally left, Mukesh was at the wheel.
"They called out to collect passengers at the bus stop at Munirka and the couple boarded it at around 9.15 pm. After the incident, they dispersed and Raju, Mukesh and Akshay tried to destroy the evidence of the incident," Sharma said.
Investigators said the male friend of the rape victim gave them "helpful" description about the bus. "He told us it was a white colour bus and it had curtains. Also he told us that the name 'Yadav' was written on it," Kumar said.
It all started when the victim's friend objected to the six men passing lewd comments at the girl.
"The gang asked what was the couple doing in the night and why they were travelling in the night. The male friend asked him why were they bothered and asked them to mind their business. Then they picked up a fight and the boy was hit on his head. The girl also fought with them to save her friend but was hit.
"Then they were enraged and dragged the girl to backseat where they sexually assaulted her," he said.
After assaulting them and dumping them, Ram Singh took to the wheels and then dropped the other five at their houses before parking the vehicle at his owner's place in Noida.
The next day, Monday, he drove the bus back to R K Puram but landed in police net as investigators were waiting for him after tracking the bus. "The bus was cleaned. But we have got enough forensic evidences like nail scratchings, DNA, hair and lot of things," Kumar said.