A month after her mutilated body was recovered from a vacant plot in southwest Delhi's Dwarka, the Delhi police is far from apprehending the men behind the brutal rape-cum-murder of a 17-year-old old girl. The minor had gone missing from her residential quarters at central Delhi's Lady Hardinge Hospital on New Year's Eve.
Even as the police grapple for clues despite a protracted investigation, sources said the case could have been cracked sooner had a Delhi Police constable taken his late night patrolling a tad bit seriously on the fateful night.
"One of our men who was patrolling Dwarka sector 4 had seen her in a luxury vehicle with three men and even conversed with her around 2am on December 31," said a senior police officer, wishing to remain anonymous.
According to the officer, the lone constable had approached the vehicle and enquired what the three men were doing there with an inebriated girl in the seat next to the driver at that time of the night.
"While the men told him that she was their sister and they were returning from a New Years' do in Gurgaon. But when he asked the girl, she just told him to leave them alone as it was a 'family matter'," the officer said.
The constable had let the men off with a mere warning instead of asking for the vehicle's papers or even noting down its number.
Meanwhile, the said investigation has been on for a month during which more than 80 suspects, including the victim's family, friends and those even remotely known to her, have been examined. A picture of one of the suspects was also released on January 15, seemingly to no avail.
"All the local police are doing is picking up boys from the area according to their whim and beating them up. We are sick and tired of having our boys manhandled on the pretext of investigation," said ML Kashyap, a resident of Lady Hardinge residential quarters.