The 30-year old BPO employee who became a victim of gangrape while returning from work is not the only woman in the Capital who has undergone such an ordeal.
The Delhi Police, following the trail of leads during investigations into the Dhaula Kuan gangrape case, have come across 20 similar cases in last one year. Most of them went unreported for various reasons, including social stigma and reluctance of police to register cases.
Police said they have gathered details from police in areas such as Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Noida, where such incidents were reported, and are working on them.
"All these incidents were reported in the past one year but in most of them no case was registered. We are now trying to rework these cases to find some clue about the present case. It is possible that the accused may have been on a prowl," said a senior police officer.
Most of these incidents were reported from parking lots near shopping malls, banquet halls and mostly on busy roads. "These women were targeted when they were walking towards a parking lot that was far from a banquet hall or a marriage venue. The modus operandi was similar to the one used in the Dhaula Kuan incident. A pick-up van and big vehicles were used in all the incidents," said the officer.
A little more than a year ago, a BPO employee in Uttam Nagar escaped an abduction bid due to her alertness and presence of mind. The woman did not take an Indica car parked near her home as it did not have the company's logo on it - the cab meant for her arrived later. In the meantime the dubious cab sped off.
In the Dhaula Kuan case, the police are looking for a white pick-up van that has a colourful and a flowery rear. The involvement of Mewat-based criminals in nearby Haryana is strongly suspected. The police are also checking the antecedents of repeat offenders.
"We have contacted the jail authorities to provide us with the data of people who were arrested for such crime and released from jail recently. Most of the rape accused are repeat offenders," said the officer.
Police is likely to announce a reward of Rs 1 lakh to those giving information about the case. They have verified hundreds of pick-up vans resembling in the Dhaula Kuan case.