Gang-raped German woman to return to Chandigarh and depose

January 12th, 2009 - 12:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Jan 12 (IANS) A young German woman who was gang-raped by five youths after being taken on a drive from an upscale hotel here in September 2008 is arriving in the city Thursday to depose in the case before a local court, police said Monday.”The German woman will reach Chandigarh on Jan 15 and probably her father will accompany her,” Ramesh Chander, Sector-17 station house officer, told IANS.

The court hearing is scheduled for Friday. The woman will be accompanied by German embassy officials from New Delhi.

A local court here last month framed charges of rape against the five youths who had allegedly sexually assaulted her after picking her from the upscale Taj Hotel in Sector 17 at about 2 a.m.

The young men had allegedly taken the German tourist in their black Scorpio SUV from the parking area of the hotel. She was taken to a farmhouse in Haryana’s Ambala district, 60 km from here, where she was sexually assaulted for several hours before being dropped in Sector 20 here by one of the men the next evening.

She had come here with a Germany-based Indian friend to attend his wedding. The victim had gone to the Taj Hotel for coffee after having food and drinks at another place.

While her two friends sat in the hotel’s coffee shop, she came out in the parking lot to smoke. It was here that she got talking to one of the youth who offered to let her drive the SUV. Later, his other friends joined and they drove her away from the city.

Incidentally, this will be the first time that the victim is herself likely to make the rape charge formally before the court. She had earlier maintained that she was only “molested” by the youth.

It was the forensic examination of the victim by the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL) here that confirmed rape. The Chandigarh police then changed the case registered against the youths from molestation to rape and criminal intimidation.

The charges have been made against Pankaj, Manvir Singh Jolly, Harpreet Singh, Sompal and Sukhwinder Singh. All of them belong to areas of neighbouring Haryana.

Police sources said that that Chandigarh police could move an application before the court of the additional district and sessions court here seeking that the victim’s travel and other expenses be reimbursed.

“As per our information, she is spending her own money to come to Chandigarh but she can approach the court here for the reimbursement of her expenditure,” Ramesh Chander said.

The Chandigarh police are taking no chances with the security of the German woman during her visit and the location of the place where she will stay is being kept secret.

“Our police officials, including three to four female cops, will always remain with her wherever she goes. Right now, we cannot disclose the place of her stay because of security reasons,” Ramesh Chander said.

The police are also arranging two German translators from the German language department at Panjab University here to facilitate court work when the victim comes for the hearing.

“She can understand English but we do not want to take chances in recording statements,” the police official said.

The German tourist had flown back to her country early October after the incident and her medical examination. She had promised to return for the case to ensure that her tormentors did not go free.

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