Chandigarh gangrape: Auto driver, father of two daughters, nabbed
An autorickshaw driver, father of two daughters among four children, was arrested on Friday for the gangrape of a 21-year-old woman in Chandigarh on November 17. The accused, Mohammed Irfan, 29, hails from Uttar Pradesh. He was staying in Zirakpur, a town adjoining Chandigarh. The police nabbed him in the early hours after an identification drive had led to him.
“We have arrested Irfan who was driving the autorickshaw that night. We have impounded the autorickshaw,” said senior superintendent of police Nilambari Vijay Jagdale. Irfan said his two accomplices, identified as Garib and Poppu, who are absconding, also belong to Uttar Pradesh and lived in the same locality as Irfan here. “They too will be arrested soon,” she said.
The police were yet to get the identification parade done. Sources said a request was sent to the magistrate but that was not conceded to. As per procedure, the parade is when the accused is identified by the victim in front of a magistrate. Irfan will be produced before a court on Saturday.
How it happened
The victim, who hails from Dehradun, had boarded the shared autorickshaw at 7.45pm that day after attending her first stenography class in Sector 37. There were two male passengers already in the three-wheeler.
However, instead of taking the woman to Mohali, where she stays as a paying guest, the driver headed towards Sector 42, on the pretext of refuelling the auto-rickshaw. Later, he drove her to a jungle opposite the petrol station where all three took turns raping her. An hour later, the two men on a motorcycle spotted the woman crying on the roadside. She told them about the crime, following which they informed the police at 9pm.
According to the victim, the auto had a temporary number. The police launched a massive drive and checked all autorickshaws in the city. It announced an award of Rs 1 lakh to the informer. “We will suitably reward the team whose leads led to his arrest,” the SSP said.
Were out preying
“It was a planned crime. The men were drunk and were looking for a victim,” said the SSP. Sources in the police said that, after having raped the woman, they drank more at a liquor shop in Phase 2, Mohali.
Once she had boarded, they worked as per plan. They covered the side number plate with hand and even the rear plate when they were pushing the auto towards a petrol pump. It is at this pump that their faces were caught on the security camera.
Having lived and worked in the tricity region for more than a decade, they were aware of pockets that are dark and not frequented at night, which is why they drove into the service lane adjacent to National Highway 21 and then entered the jungle area bordering Mohali, police officials said. The SSP said police are checking if they were involved in any such crime before too. Teams have been sent to Delhi and UP to arrested the other two.