Four people were on Monday arrested in connection with the alleged gangrape of a 25-year-old US national at The Park Hotel in Connaught Place on April 8 and 9. As per the complaint filed by the woman with Delhi Police, five men — three employees of a travel agency and two others — drugged her and sexually assaulted her for two days. The woman had told The Indian Express that she realised what had happened to her once she returned to the US and approached an NGO that filed a complaint on her behalf. A case was registered at Connaught Place police station.
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She came to India to record her statement and identify the accused last week.
JCP (southwestern range) Dependra Pathak confirmed the arrests. “We had launched a probe after receiving the victim’s complaint. She was requested to join the investigation. The complainant was kind enough and Delhi Police have the highest regard for her. She came to India and helped us collect clinching evidence. Of the four arrested men, one is a tour guide, the other two are the driver and helper of the tourist bus, and one allegedly works in room service at the hotel where the incident took place,” said Pathak. The accused are aged between 24 and 40.
An official spokesperson for the Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels said, “At The Park Hotels, the safety, security and well-being of our guests is priority to us. We are extending our full cooperation.”
The woman called the arrests a “positive step” and expressed hope that the accused will be given strict punishment. Expected to identify those arrested on Tuesday afternoon, her lawyer maintained that she was scheduled to return to the US on Tuesday evening.
The tourist guide and the bus driver and helper were identified on the basis of the hotel employee’s testimony. The fifth accused is yet to be verified, police said.
Earlier, while speaking to The Indian Express, the woman had said, “I did not face any harassment or assault during the rest of my trip. At that time, I did not know what had happened…Three of these men were with us during our tour, but I didn’t know them,” she said. In the FIR lodged in the case, the woman described the accused and said it was towards the end of July that she started to remember what had happened to her in India.