The Delhi police carried out raids across New Delhi on Thursday as they hunted for a further six men wanted over the gang-rape of a Danish tourist which has put the country's record on sexual violence back into the spotlight.
Police announced the arrest of two homeless men late on Wednesday who are suspected of taking part in the assault and robbery of the 51-year-old victim on Tuesday.
The arrested persons have been identified as Mahender alias Ganja, 25, and Mohammad Tahir alias Raja — both small-time criminals. The police recovered the woman’s iPod and a Nokia mobile phone worth Rs. 1,200 supposedly purchased by Ganja using her money. Her spectacle case and Rs. 1,000 cash was found on Raja.
A police officer associated with the investigation said the first breakthrough came after the woman identified two of the accused from the dossier of criminals that was shown to her. These criminals have earlier been arrested by the central district police for minor crimes.
“Both the arrested men are homeless and members of a local gang of robbers. They had earlier been arrested in cases of drug abuse, pick-pocketing and thefts. Their interrogation helped us in establishing the identity of the other accused, who are currently on the run,” the officer said.
Investigation into the case revealed that the woman was allegedly sexual assaulted at knife-point for almost five hours by the eight accused. Some of them raped her more than once.
The police confirmed that the crime took place in the campus of Railway Officer’s club near the New Delhi railway station. Investigators suspect that all the accused were under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.
A police officer said that besides robbing the Danish woman of around 750 Euros, Rs. 3,000 cash in Indian currency and other valuables, one of the accused also fled with her pair of jeans.
The woman had to use a pair of pajamas left at the spot to cover her body and reach her hotel at Paharganj where she had checked in on Monday after having visited Agra.
The woman herself is a professional tourist guide back in Denmark who visited India quite often. She had arrived in India on January 1 and was visiting the country on a tourist visa. Since she refused to undergo a medical examination, the police convinced the woman to leave the clothes she was wearing at the time of the crime for further probe.
“We have seized the clothes of the two arrested men. The clothes of both the woman as well as the accused will be sent to forensic lab and it will be used as evidence in the case,” said the officer. They police had rounded up around 100 homeless people in the case.