A man allegedly raped a 24-year-old student from a northeastern state at south Delhi’s popular Deer Park around 2.30am on Sunday when she was returning home with a cousin after dinner at a restaurant in Hauz Khas Village.
The woman said in her complaint that the man, who she couldn’t identify, raped her twice at the park adjacent to the Capital’s signature hang-out with 48 restaurants, art galleries and designer boutiques.
Police detained on Monday six men in connection with the incident. Investigators are recording the statements of eyewitnesses.
The cousins, who stay at a rented flat in Munirka, had gone to Hauz Khas with friends on Saturday night. After dinner, around 1am, the two women were trying to hail a cab to return home when two men approached them.
They struck a conversation and offered to drop them home, saying have a car parked at a distance. The women accepted the offer and walked with the men towards the car.
“In the meantime, the suspect offered to show his target a dry lake inside the park,” a police officer said.
The park — a sprawling green space and popular for family outings — is closed for the public at night.
“The duo scaled a wall to get in as the gates were locked,” the officer said.
The cousin, meanwhile, was walking towards the car with the other guy, unaware of her sister’s detour.
When the suspect and the student reached an isolated stretch, the man allegedly tried to grope her.
Angry over the man’s shock assault, the woman tried to put up a fight and hit him with a stone. But he was too strong for her.
“He slapped her and then raped her twice,” the officer said.
After the crime, the man bolted taking away with him the student’s mobile phone and wallet.
The traumatised woman got out of the park a while later and ran towards a police picket outside the market around 2.45am. When she finished recounting her ordeal, the policemen searched the area for the man fitting her description of the rapist.
They recovered the wallet near the spot where the woman was allegedly raped. The contents of the purse were untouched, but for a Rs 500 note.
Her phone was not found, though. It was switched off. “Our electronic surveillance shows the phone is somewhere in the Hauz Khas area,” the officer said.
The phone’s location could lead investigators to the suspect whose sketch has been prepared, based on the woman’s description. Police have other “definite leads” as well, DCP (South) Ishwar Singh said.
A CCTV camera installed near the market had caught the suspect’s friend chatting with the cousin, who went home leaving her sister behind.
The woman, doing a part-time job and a course in spoken English, was sent for a medical examination and counselled to help her overcome the trauma. Her statement was recorded to register a case of rape.