Delhi police on Tuesday raided the house of a garment showroom owner in connection with the alleged rape of a 19-year-old woman –relative of a Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister -- at a club in the national capital around 13 days ago.
The accused Sandip Kohli, who owns a garment showroom in Hazratganj in Sector J, Aliganj, here is absconding.
The woman is presently studying in a Delhi institute and is known to the accused and his other family-members, police said.
The police also carried out search in some other places in here but failed to trace the accused.
The woman, who too belongs to a business family, alleged that Kohli raped her at the club after inviting her for dinner on the night of February 13. She had lodged an FIR in this connection under IPC section 376 at Chankayapuri police station in Delhi on February 19.
The incident also triggered protests in Lucknow demanding stern action against the accused.
On Wednesday, social activists gathered outside Kohli's garment showroom—Kohli Brothers— and staged a protest demanding stern action in the case. This forced the showroom to pull down the shutters.
"Sandip along with his wife has disappeared immediately after the matter was reported to the police," said Amardeep Singh Sehgal, station house officer (SHO) of Chanakyapuri police station, while talking to HT on phone.
"We are looking for the accused after initial probe confirmed the woman's allegations," Sehgal said.
Sources in the woman's family said she had returned to her family in Lucknow after the incident and was in a dilemma before lodging an FIR against the person who was very close to her family.
"Some members of the woman's family were of the view of not registering the complaint, fearing it would malign the family's image. The FIR was delayed apparently because of family pressure. It was lodged after five days when the woman took the firm decision of not hiding the incident," said a person close to the family.
Sehgal said the woman's medical examination had been conducted but a final report is still awaited. He said the woman told the police that Kohli invited her for dinner after reaching Delhi on February 13.
The woman accepted his invitation and went to meet him and had dinner together at the club where she was later raped, Sehgal said adding, the probe so far had confirmed the presence of the accused and the woman at the club where the crime allegedly took place.