It was the longest 20 minutes of the south Delhi rape victim's life as she struggled to communicate her nightmare to a young police recruit on the night of November 24.
"The victim was speaking in English and the constable couldn't understand her accent. Though the constable tried to chase the vehicle in which the victim was raped in, he could not do so as the language barrier prevented him from understanding which direction to go in," said Delhi police commissioner BK Gupta.
The 30-year-old BPO employee, who was abducted metres away from her Dhaula Kuan residence immediately after alighting from her office cab at 1:10 am on the fateful night, found herself in the middle of nowhere after the crime.
The local police had acted swiftly but not swiftly enough. A rookie beat officer — recruited into the force recently — was dispatched to attend to the victim's call that was made at 1:26 am.
But the 'swift' reaction came to nought as the next 20 minutes - which could have been instrumental in tracing the vehicle being used by the accused - were lost in translation.
New recruits, the Delhi Police had claimed, had been sent to two weeks of English speaking training after being inducted into the force before the Commonwealth Games.
"The constable might not have been able to understand her words, but he did understand what had happened to her. He rushed her to the PCR unit nearby which took her to the Safdurjung Hospital accompanied by a woman officer," said a senior police officer.
By the time the victim's medical report conformed sexual assault and units across south district were alerted to look for the pick-up truck, the accused had escaped.
"The constable has acted with alacrity and swiftness. Though we cannot reveal his identity, we can assure you that he will be among four to five junior-level officers to be given out of turn promotions soon," Gupta said.
* The beat constable was a rookie and was not well-verse in English. The victim spoke only English.
* He could not understand which direction to go in as he could not make out what the victim was saying.
* Though he reached the crime scene quickly, more than 20 minutes were wasted which helped accused get away.