61 year old woman found disrobed, injured in Delhi
A 61-year-old “mentally unstable” woman was found disrobed, tied up and bleeding from her head in a public park located in a residential colony in south Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar on Tuesday night.
It was not immediately clear if she had been raped.
The police on Thursday night said they had nabbed a 30-year-old former cook — identified as Sudhir Sabita alias Chhote — of a Lajpat Nagar restaurant for the crime. Sabita’s arrest came following interrogation of more than 60 suspects from the neighbourhood and analysis of CCTV footage that showed a man fleeing the area.
According to the police, the woman was found unconscious and bleeding near the concrete walking track in the park. “The physical appearance of the suspect seen in the CCTV matched with that of Sabita. We recreated the scene and made him run in the same manner in front of the CCTV. His running style and physical appearance matched with what we saw on the CCTV. The suspect revealed that he was drunk when he saw the woman in the park and forced himself on her,” said Biswal.
The elderly woman has been admitted to a government hospital. She has received multiple stitches in her head, where she was attacked with a blunt object — possibly a liquor bottle. The injuries on her face and eyes suggest that she was repeatedly punched for resisting the sexual assault. She also has bruises on her neck, chest and on abdomen. Her condition is out of danger, said the police.
Additional DCP (southeast) Kumar Gyanesh said the incident came to light on Wednesday around 6 am, when the barking of some stray dogs caught the attention of a morning walker. The man went to the park where he found the elderly woman and informed the police control room.
“A case under section 376 (rape), 354B (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) of Indian Penal Code was registered because we could not rule out sexual assault,” said Gyanesh.
The police said the woman lives with her sister, a widow, in south Delhi. They said the woman’s sister too is not “mentally sound”. She has two brothers, who were unmarried and had died some years ago. The police said the woman has not been able to narrate the sequence of events leading to the crime.
Many posters at the gate and inside the south Delhi MCD park, where the incident took place, say it is covered by CCTV cameras but police said the focus of all the cameras were away from the crime spot. “A camera installed in another lane of the colony captured a man leaving the area in a hurry around 1.30am,” said an investigator, requesting anonymity.
Some local residents said they did not witness the crime or hear the woman screaming for help. They alleged that the park is not guarded at night.
SDMC standing committee chairperson Shikha Rai said, “It’s a sad and unfortunate incident. The issues which has been raised regarding the park will be surely addressed.”