A visibly-terrified Lalit Ratawal (38) sat between two vigilant Delhi Police constables at the Metropolitan Magistrate's chamber at the Tis Hazari Court Complex on Saturday afternoon.
“During interrogation, he told us that the co-accused in the case are all 13 to 15-year-olds and were known to him as he used to drive them to and from their respective schools,” said a senior police officer.
Dressed in blue jeans and a striped blue shirt - partially torn by angry onlookers who had thrashed him when he'd stepped out of the Prasad Nagar police station half an hour ago, the father of two was there to defend himself against charges of drugging and raping three siblings for almost two years.
“He has been a school cab driver for the last four years. Rajkumari had employed him in early March last year. He divorced his wife two years ago and remarried almost immediately in 2008,” the officer said.
A resident of Karol Bagh's Bapa Nagar area, Ratawal is a professional driver.
He has a single Maruti van that he uses to ferry children and occasionally make trips out of Delhi.
On the pretext of pain, Ratawal would occasionally wrest his left hand free and run it through his unkempt hair or just nod or shake his head at any question he was asked, even by the judge.
“Asked whether he knew the co-accused, he shook his head. A second later, the public prosecutor said that he'd agreed to identify them if they were produced in front of him.
He was perhaps afraid that mediapersons present in the chamber would be the next to assault him if he opened his mouth,” said the officer.
Sources said that some candy was recovered from the cab he used to drive kids around in. “He confessed to having fed his 12-year-old victim a toffee laced with sedatives the first time he raped her,” the officer said.