Had she not decided to take a shortcut at hiring a cab after a hard day at work, the 22-year-old pub employee, who was raped in south Delhi on Tuesday, would have been far from harm’s way.
The victim, sources said, should have followed the established procedure of booking a radio cab over the phone in advance, instead of hiring the first one she saw after exiting the Sahara Mall at 3:30am on Tuesday morning.
“The victim saw the accused cab driver waiting for hire as soon as she got off work. She approached him, struck a deal for the ride priced at R300 and simply walked into his trap,” said a senior police officer investigating the incident.
The incident, police said, had partly came to light at around 4.30am when the victim, an employee at Last Chance, a pub in Gurgaon’s Sahara Mall, approached a constable stationed at a police picket near her residence in the Kishangarh area.
According to the police, had the victim booked her ride in advance, the accused cab driver’s employers would not only have had prior information about his route, but would have also saved the police precious time after the incident was brought to their notice.
“During initial questioning after he was arrested, the accused, Shiv Kumar, told us that he had lured the victim by offering her a bargain. He had requested her not to make a telephonic booking with his company so that both of them could benefit,” the officer said.
Kumar, police said, told the victim that if she refrained from making a telephonic booking, she could pay him relatively less for the ride home and he could pocket the fair without owing anything to his employers.
“He told her that he stayed near her Kishangarh residence and was already heading there. If she gave him Rs 300 instead of the usual rate, ranging between Rs 500 and Rs 700, both of them would profit,” the officer said.