For the police officers who probed the Dhaula Kuan gangrape case in 2010, the conviction order of the five accused by a city court on Tuesday was what they had hoped and prayed for every time they appeared before the court in the past four years.
During the trial, of the 57 police witnesses, two had turned hostile. Despite several residents from Dhauj village in Haryana — home to four of the five accused — claiming before the court that the accused were at their house when the 30-year-old woman was gangraped, the court relied heavily on forensic evidence submitted by police.
The Mahindra pick-up van, from where police lifted DNA samples, was found to have been covered with hay and hidden in Tai village on the outskirts of Mewat. Investigating officers admitted that it was not a motorable road. Yet, the five had managed to drive the vehicle to Tai.
The DNA match — of the specimen obtained from the victim’s clothes with those from the specimen lifted from the pick-up van — and their medical examination gave police a strong case to present before the court.
Senior IPS officer HGS Dhaliwal, who led the investigation then as the DCP (South), said the crucial evidence they had was the DNA report. “Our officers managed to get all the items which were part of the case. The DNA samples from victim and the accused matched. It was a blind case initially, but we had several teams working on it. I would say this is the result of perfect team work.”
Police said they could never thank the victim enough for the the courage she showed to identify two of the accused. On December 4, 2010, when the victim was taken to Tihar for the test identification parade (TIP), she identified the two accused —Usman and Shamshad. “They had shaved their heads and stood in line at Tihar with the others. Despite that, the victim identified the two. The other three accused had refused to undergo the TIP,” an officer said.
Police said because there were no loopholes in the investigation, even the defence counsel and the amicus curie appointed by the court did not dispute that the victim had been abducted and gangraped, but contended that the accused had been framed.