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Friday, Dec 13, 2019

Two convicted for killing Australian tourist

A Delhi court holds two cab drivers guilty of raping, killing and looting an Australian tourist in the Indian capital, a crime that had made headlines in 2004, reports Naziya Alvi.

delhi Updated: Aug 03, 2008 00:21 IST
Naziya Alvi
Naziya Alvi
Hindustan Times

A Sessions Court on Saturday convicted a cab driver and his friend for raping and killing a 59-year-old Australian woman within hours of her landing at Delhi’s IGI airport in March 2004. Dawn Emelie Griggs had come here to be part of a meditation course.

Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Kumar held accused Jyotish Prasad and Ashish Kumar guilty of killing and gangraping Griggs after robbing her of her valuables. The court will pronounce the quantum of sentence on Monday. The convicts will either get life sentence or death penalty.

“The prosecution has conclusively established the complicity of the drivers by linking them with the chain of events,” the 75-page judgment read. The postmortem conducted on Griggs at Safdarjung hospital established she was stabbed, gagged and strangled.

Family misses verdict

Griggs’s son had called up authorities last week to find out the status but the date for the verdict had not been reserved then and he was asked to inquire later this month. He has even booked his tickets for India for mid-August, sources said.

Major victory for the police

Despite working under tremendous pressure the unit of the IGI police that had successfully cracked it within hours of the incident. “We are very happy with the verdict. It was very good detection by the police. The main accused were arrested within six hours,” the then DCP (IGI) Devesh Srivastava said.

The incident

Griggs landed in New Delhi from Hong Kong on a Cathay Pacific Flight on March 17, 2004 for enrolling in a Hindu meditation course with Brahmakumari Aishwarya Vidyalaya. She took a private pre-paid taxi from IGI airport and was later found murdered in a nearby deserted field.

The victim had asked the accused to take her to Brahmakumari Ashram at Karol Bagh. Instead, she was taken to a field where Prasad with the help of Kumar raped and then killed her. The duo then decamped with her belongings but later abandoned them barely 200 metres away from the spot of the crime, as they did not find anything substantial.