Three days after a 20-year-old student was gangraped allegedly by 10 men after she and her male friend were waylaid on Changna Bridge on South City road in Ludhiana late on Saturday, rural police arrested two accused Tuesday and identified three more.
Ludhiana range DIG Ranbir Singh Khatra told The Indian Express that prime accused Sadiq Ali (24), a resident of Rehpa village in Mukandpur police station area of Nawanshahr district, and Jagroop Singh (30) from Jaspal Bangar of Ludhiana have been arrested. “Jagroop has been arrested wiith the help of Ludhiana city police. Sadiq, who was arrested first, had confessed to his crime during interrogation and named four other accused, including Jagroop. Raids are being conducted to arrest the others. Sadiq has also confirmed the involvement of a sixth accused who is yet to be identified,” said the DIG.
He added that till now, they have found the involvement of six persons in the gang-rape.
The other three have been identified as Ajay Kumar and Saif Ali Khan from Tibba and Surmu from Khanpur village, both in Ludhiana. All the accused are aged between 25 and 30 years.
“Sadiq, who is from Gujjar community and grazes cattle, has been arrested after five to six hours of interrogation. He, along with his accomplices, had stopped the vehicle of the victim, looted them and raped the girl,” said the DIG, adding the sixth unidentified accused is an acquaintance of Surmu.
DSP (investigation) Amandeep Singh said that Jagroop is a driver by profession. “It being probed that how all of them are connected. Sadiq, Saif Ali and Surmu are from the Gujjar community. Ajay and Jagroop are probably their friends, but it is being probed if they operated as a gang and committed such crimes in past too,” said the DSP, adding that Sadiq is married.
He further said Sadiq was in Ludhiana to meet his relatives, Saif Ali and Surmu.
Earlier in the day, police had released sketches of six suspects, following which the two were arrested.
The 20-year-old from Ludhiana and her friend were returning from Sarabha Nagar market late on Saturday when their car was allegedly intercepted near Issewal by three accused. The girl alleged that she was gangraped and her friend was assaulted. The accused allegedly demanded Rs 1 lakh and called up their another friend to bring the money. However, the friend approached the police, which came to the spot an hour later, but couldn’t trace the victims. Around 2 am on Sunday, the victims managed to flee the spot. ASI Vidya Rattan, who was on night duty at Mullanpur Dakha police station, was suspended for negligence Monday. An FIR against 10 persons was registered at Mullanpur Dakha police station for gangrape, extortion and wrongful confinement.
Meanwhile, Punjab State Women Commission summoned Mullanpur Dakha Station House Officer, Inspector Rajan Parminder Singh, on Tuesday in Chandigarh to present the status report of the case.
Police had recovered at least 20 audio clippings of conversations between one of the accused with the victim’s friend, who was asked to bring money, in Punjabi. “We are probing who was that accused. Since he was speaking in pure Punjabi, he is a native of Punjab probably,” said the DSP.