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At ease, now waiting for all to be punished: Delhi's Shahdara rape victim

The police confirmed they have arrested the last remaining accused, who is also one of the prime accused. A total of 21 people have been arrested in the case.
The 20-year-old woman was sexually assaulted and publicly shamed in Shahdara’s Kasturba Nagar three months ago. (Picture for representation only)
Updated on Apr 30, 2022 04:54 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Three months after a 20-year-old woman was sexually assaulted and publicly shamed in Delhi's Shahdara’s Kasturba Nagar, the last remaining accused, who is also one of the prime accused, has been arrested, the police said.

Deputy commissioner of police (Shahdara) R Sathiyasundaram confirmed the arrest and said Mukesh alias Mungeri, a resident of Kasturba Nagar , was arrested on April 25, the day the police submitted the charge-sheet in the case. “Teams have been working to arrest him round the clock and, on April 25, we received information that he’ll be coming to the area (Kasturba Nagar) to meet a relative. Our team swung into action and apprehended him,” he said.

The news of his arrest was welcomed with a sigh of relief by the victim, who told HT that it was Mukesh that she feared the most. “Now, I am feeling better,” she said.

After Mukesh’s arrest, she said she went to meet her sister and father in Kasturba Nagar for the first time since the assault. “I did not meet any neighbours though. I visited my father and came straight back home with my husband,” she said.

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A senior police officer said Mukesh is the paternal uncle of the teenager who died by suicide in November 2021. The family had blamed the 20-year-old woman for his death and it was allegedly to avenge him that on January 26, they allegedly abducted her, gang-raped her and paraded her on the streets with her hair chopped, face blackened and a shoe garland around her neck.

Police later said the teenager was stalking her and continued to do so even after she got married.

“A total of 21 people have been arrested and apprehended in the case and Mukesh was the only one absconding. He had been evading arrest and kept changing his location within Haryana, living in temples and gurdwaras. He had also sought shelter at a relative’s house but they didn’t keep him because the police pressure was immense,” the officer said, asking not to named.

The victim, who resides with her husband and a 3-year-old son, said she was a bit apprehensive after her security cover was removed earlier this month. “I have been living in fear because he had not been arrested and my security cover was removed around April 10. There were rumours in the locality that he was going to harm me and that plans were being hatched from inside the jail to trouble me. I never step out because of fear and shame,” she said.

Victim’s 18-year-old sister had lost her job at a shop nearby because the accused family allegedly threatened her at her place of work. DCP Sathyasundaram said the sister is taking computer classes at the police station. “After completion of her course, we’ll see if she can be absorbed in at the police station; else we will find her a job nearby,” he said.

The victim herself, DCP said, has expressed a wish to complete her Class 12.. “We’ll support her financially and also with her tuitions if she needs it,” he added. The victim said while the security cover has been formally removed, “policemen visit her every now and then to check o her well being”.

“Now, I am only waiting for all of them to be punished,” she said.

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