Twelve years after he raped a 17-year-old in Germany, and one year after his two accomplices finished serving their prison sentences there, Delhi-based transporter Jaswant Singh has landed in the police net.
Singh, an illegal alien who worked at a restaurant in Darmstadt, was 19 when he committed the crime on August 2, 1997.
Since he had been staying and working in Germany on a fake identity, Singh was able to get away and bury his past in India. Almost.
Cracking the case
Last year, the Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany provided the records of this case to the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi, with a request to initiate criminal proceedings against Jaswant Singh.
However, the German authorities did not provide Singh’s photograph to their counterparts in Delhi.
Delhi Police's crime branch had only Singh's name to pursue the case with.
"Information regarding persons with similar name and description, who had arrived from Germany over the last few years, was gathered. We also knew that Singh was from Punjab, so we contacted our sources there," said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Neeraj Thakur.
Investigations led the police team to Miani in Hoshiarpur, Punjab. There, the team questioned Singh’s relatives and came to know that he was in Delhi and operated a transport business along with his father.
Finally, on August 30, the crime branch team finally succeeded in arresting Jaswant Singh from his house in the Adarsh Nagar area.
On the night of August 2, 1997, the victim, a 17-year-old German girl, was walking home alone, having missed her train, when Jaswant Singh, Karan Singh and Mohammad Shahzad waylaid and raped her in a park.
The victim reported the crime to the police. On August 5, 1997, Nurteza Kilickaya, in whose restaurant the three men worked, informed the police that he knew the suspects.
“He stated that he had overheard Jaswant and Karan talking about a girl they had taken to a park at night,” said Thakur.
Karan Singh and Mohammad Shahzad were arrested and put on trial in Germany. The victim identified Karan Singh and Mohammad Shahzad as her rapists. She also identified Jaswant Singh from his photographs.
Karan Singh and Mohammad Shahzad were tried at Darmstadt Upper District Court. On July 14, 1998, Shahzad was sentenced to eight years in prison while Karan Singh was awarded a 10-year term.
Jaswant Singh managed to evade arrest and return to India via Amsterdam, Holland. It was the only time he used his genuine passport.