November 26, 2021 3:46:40 am
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) investigating the alleged gangrape of a 19-year-old girl, who was found hanging inside a coach of the Gujarat Queen train, has detained three persons — two of whom are said to be suspects of the crime — from Vadodara on Thursday, following the recovery of the girl’s bicycle from one of the accused late on Wednesday night.
The SIT on Thursday detained Mahesh Rathwa, Kamlesh Rathwa, and a man identified as Chandu. According to officials, Mahesh Rathwa, who works as a security guard, had been in possession of the victim’s bicycle, which was recovered by the Railway Local Crime Branch on Wednesday night with its wheels removed.
Vadodara Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Crime, Jaydeepsinh Jadeja, who is a Supervising officer of the SIT, told The Indian Express that Rathwa’s daughter had been spotted riding the cycle on November 2 in a CCTV footage. Jadeja said, “We had been looking for the cycle. Based on the statements of one of the witnesses, we traced the CCTV footage and found that the cycle was present in Mahesh Rathwa’s house on November 2. His daughter is seen riding the bicycle. Later, he must have heard about the police investigation (after the woman’s suicide) and decided to destroy the cycle.”
Jadeja said that the investigators had been piecing together details from the girl’s personal diary, in which she had described that her bicycle was hit by a vehicle from the rear while she was returning to her apartment on the evening of October 29, after which, two accused allegedly abducted her and gangraped her.
The investigators faced hurdles as the focus was on finding an auto-rickshaw driver, based on the narration in the woman’s diary and a witness in the case, Jadeja said. “So far, we had only been investigating from the point of view of finding an auto driver as the accused, but the victim has not mentioned that she was hit by an auto. In her narration, she has mentioned being hit by a vehicle and a witness had mentioned seeing an auto near the site… but now we believe that it could have been another vehicle. In fact, the detained suspect Mahesh has a three-wheeler pick-up tempo, and the second suspect Kamlesh also has a pickup van…”
Jadeja further said, “The unfortunate part is that despite being a crime that occurred before it was dark on October 29, we have not found any reliable eyewitnesses in the case that could have enabled us to reach the accused faster.”
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