The count of “victims” of the alleged Delhi serial rapist has now climbed to 30. The only case in which he is being tried so far, however, has virtually collapsed.
On June 4, 2014, Ravinder Kumar was arrested along with his friend Dharmender and a minor for allegedly abducting, sodomising and trying to kill a six-year-old boy from Kashmiri Colony, Begumpur. In May this year, a Delhi court gave bail to Kumar and Dharmender (the minor is being tried in a juvenile court) after the “victim” failed to identify the accused, a key prosecution witness turned hostile, and DNA proof didn’t hold up.
Less than two months after that, on July 15, Kumar was arrested for the alleged rape and murder of a minor girl, following which his claims of being a serial offender surfaced.
In the June 2014 case, Kumar and his co-accused were initially charged with abduction, sodomy and attempt to murder, and sent to judicial custody.
Based on the chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police and prima facie evidence on record, the accused were charged under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act. Police did not name the alleged victim as a prosecution witness initially, but later included him under court directive.
In April this year, the metropolitan magistrate who conducted the test identification parade told the court that the alleged victim had failed to identify the accused.
The same day, Anjay, a daily wage labourer and a neighbour of the “victim”, who was named by police as having identified the accused on the day of the alleged incident and who was involved in the search for the “victim”, turned hostile.
The mother and “victim” themselves have failed to appear before the court, despite being summoned twice.
Anjay told the court, “I do not know anything about the case. I was sleeping and I did not even come out of my house. I came to know that the son of my neighbour went missing during the night and was later recovered. Police never asked me anything. My statement was not recorded by police. I cannot identify the accused persons.”
During cross-examination, Anjay stuck by his statement. “It is wrong to suggest that accused Dharmender and Ravinder had (assaulted) the ‘victim child’. It is wrong to suggest that while we were searching, the accused got perplexed on seeing us and told us they both were under the influence of liquor.”
“It is wrong to suggest that both accused had admitted their guilt before the police in my presence, that in guise of a girl they had picked up a boy to satisfy their lust. It is wrong to suggest that I am intentionally and deliberately not identifying the accused persons as they are residents of same locality,” Anjay had added.
Kumar’s counsel had cited the above testimony as well as the fact that the DNA samples lifted from the “victim” and accused were not matching to argue for bail.