CCTV footage shows German tourist was ‘friendly’ with ‘abductor’

September 30th, 2008 - 1:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Sep 30 (IANS) Crucial CCTV footage of the Taj Hotel here has added a fresh twist to the alleged abduction and molestation of a German woman - it shows the tourist was “friendly” with the youth who “abducted” her, police said Tuesday. The footage also indicated that the 20-year-old German woman sat in the Scorpio SUV vehicle, in which she was allegedly abducted Sunday, on her own.

Hotel security guards too corroborated this version saying that the foreigner was seen talking to the youth before driving off with them in the Scorpio, police officials said.

The German woman was allegedly abducted from the upscale Taj Hotel around 2.30 a.m. Sunday. She alleged that she was held captive for 12 hours and the youth attempted to rape her, assaulted and molested her and threatened to kill her.

“She came to the hotel at 1.45 a.m. Sunday and was sitting in the coffee shop with her friends. She came out in the parking for a smoke and was seen talking to some boys,” Assistant Superintendent of Police Madhur Verma told IANS.

“The boys told the victim to help them in parking their car. She agreed and sat in the driver’s seat. Somehow she drove out of the gate and took the car to the wrong side and lost her way. In the meantime some other youth also sat in the car and pushed her to the rear,” Verma said.

He added that the victim had also given the same version and this had been reinforced by the footages of CCTV cameras.

Police officials claimed that the victim, who is not fluent in English, was changing her statement at times. They said that she told a medical board, which examined her, that she had been raped.

Chandigarh Senior Superintendent of Police S.S. Srivastava told reporters Monday that the medical report had not indicated rape. He said that further samples had been sent for forensic examination.

Verma added that the boys drove the SUV for about two hours before finally taking the tourist to a farmhouse near Ambala.

The woman, who was in the city to attend the wedding of a Germany-based NRI, has complained that she was taken to a room where the youth tried to rape her, beat her and and threatened her. About 12 hours later, around 3 p.m. Sunday, a white Maruti car dropped her in Sector 20, four kilometres from the hotel.

The Chandigarh police Monday evening arrested a youth identified as Pankaj from near Ambala city in neighbouring Haryana, 45 km from here.

“Pankaj came to Chandigarh Sunday afternoon to drop the German woman back to Chandigarh in a borrowed white Maruti car. He has disclosed the identities and addresses of other accused but we cannot disclose that at the moment,” said Verma.

A police source claimed Pankaj is the son of a Haryana Police official. He said some accused have been nabbed in search operations conducted in Ambala and neighbouring towns, but said the exact number of those arrested would be given out later.

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