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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Delhi: Two girls raped in four days, police find accused is same

The accused, Suraj Shah, was also arrested in March for allegedly molesting a minor girl, and was released on bail from Tihar in July. In fact, he was in Delhi on October 22 for a court hearing that was postponed.

Written by Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi |
Updated: October 27, 2021 9:54:59 am
Suraj Shah was arrested from Haryana's Rohtak on October 24, DCP, Central district, Shweta Chauhan said.

A 20-year-old man arrested for allegedly raping a seven-year-old girl in West Delhi on October 22 had sexually assaulted another girl, aged six, just four days earlier, The Indian Express has learnt. The accused, Suraj Shah, was also arrested in March for allegedly molesting a minor girl, and was released on bail from Tihar in July. In fact, he was in Delhi on October 22 for a court hearing that was postponed.

Shah was arrested from Haryana’s Rohtak on October 24, DCP, Central district, Shweta Chauhan said.

While investigating the October 22 rape, officials of the central district discovered through their informers that a similar incident took place on October 18, less than 5 km away. “In the meantime, Suraj’s picture viral on social media and a relative of the six-year-old girl showed it to her. She identified him and the family approached police on Monday, informing them of the development,” a senior police officer said.

The girl’s parents had approached police on October 18, too, alleging that she had been taken to an isolated place by a man, who raped her. Based on her father’s complaint, an FIR was lodged. While the first case was being probed by officers of the west district since the victim lived there, the second was under officers of the central district. It is learnt that senior officers at the Delhi Police headquarters are dissatisfied that police forces in the west district did not launch an extensive manhunt after the first incident.

“During questioning, the accused said he stays in Delhi’s Raghubir Nagar and runs a small store in Rajasthan, where he and a relative sell utensils purchased from Delhi. He said that after being released from jail, he frequently moved between the two states,” an officer said. He disclosed that he visited Central Delhi on October 18 to eat at a restaurant he particularly liked. He told police that’s when he lured the six-year-old.

“He raped her and returned to Rajasthan. On October 22, he again came to Delhi for a court hearing but found it had been postponed. He then went to the same restaurant, and once he was in the area, he followed two more children from the same locality, but they entered their homes before he could do anything. He later lured the seven-year-old girl and allegedly raped her,” the officer said.

After the incident, officers of the central district had scanned around 800 CCTVs and found footage of the accused. “In one footage, he was seen near a metro station in West Delhi. We suspected he was a resident of the West district and checked criminal dossiers of all accused arrested for sexually harassing minor girls. Police found the accused resembled someone who was arrested earlier. A team was sent to the local police station and they scanned his case file. They then traced his relative, who gave vital clues about him,” the officer said.

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