The gangrape of this Delhi University student was not an easy case to crack for the police.
First,it took place in a moving car,near the Haryana border,late in the night; there were no witnesses; and the vehicle remained untraceable for hours,according to an officer then posted with the Southwest district police who was part of the probe from the beginning.
The police were in the dark about the accused for almost four days after the rape was reported on May 8,2005. The initial registration number of the black Hyundai Santro car,in which the 20-year-old was abducted as noted by a witness,was found to be a fake number plate.
The police formed 16 teams to look for the accused. The officer,who was part of the team that arrested prime accused Ajit Katiyar,said: We verified almost 10,000 cars in Delhi,Noida,Gurgaon and other places in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh but could not find the car used by the accused. It was one case where everyone was under a lot of pressure we could not go home for almost a week.
The officer said police teams questioned close to 1,000 people most of them criminals with past records and those previously involved in rape cases between May 9 and May 12. They finally got an opening when one told interrogators that Ajit Katiyar,a cab driver for a Noida call centre,could be involved,the officer said.
The teams soon gathered more details about Katiyar since he had previous police record under the Arms Act,and for vehicle theft,and reached his village,Indilapur,near Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. But,the officer said,Katiyar was not present and his family members (parents Ram Kishore and Krishna Katiyar and sister Reena) did not disclose any information about his whereabouts.
Finally,we traced him in Gharoli village in New Ashok Nagar area of Delhi, the officer said.
Post-arrest,Katiyar initially denied that he was involved in the gangrape but police found his cellphone ID showed he was present near Dhaula Kuan on the night of May 8. He broke down under sustained interrogation and confessed; he has till date not disclosed anything about the other accused persons. The other three still remain at large.