The manner in which the last rites of the gangrape victim, who died early on Saturday at a Singapore hospital, suggested careful planning by police.
A plane carrying the 23-year-old's body, supposed to leave Singapore at 4pm IST but got delayed by six hours, landed at the Delhi airport around 3.30am. The woman's cremation was over by 7.30am.
Before the plane's arrival, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had reached the air force technical area at the Indira Gandhi International Airport to be with the woman's family members.
The body was taken to the family's house in southwest Delhi in the presence of more than 2,000 police personnel.
Over a dozen police control room vans and vehicles of senior police officers escorted the ambulance carrying the body. Fifteen Delhi Transport Corporation buses loaded with police personnel trailed the ambulance till the family's address. When the body reached the house, the police cordoned off the area.
Neighbours claimed the police had conducted a recce on Saturday and also identified the crematorium. The body was kept for two hours at the house.
Sources said the police was pressurising the family to cremate the body before sunrise, a demand the woman's father refused.
“They even wanted us to go to Varanasi but we refused. Since we hail from village in Ballia, they wanted the plane to land in Varanasi, from where a vehicle would take us to the village,” a source close to the family said.
"At 6am, the body was taken to a crematorium in Dwarka. The routes from the airport to the family's house and
from there to the crematorium were heavily guarded with an armed policeman every 10m. The family waited for the sunrise and fog to clear and at 7.30am the body was cremated," a senior police officer said.
Chief minister Sheila Dikshit, junior home minister RPN Singh, west Delhi MP Mahabal Mishra and Delhi BJP chief Vijender Gupta also attended the last rites.