German tourist’s sexual assault ‘not planned’: police (Lead)

October 1st, 2008 - 1:05 am ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Aug 30 (IANS) Police Tuesday evening claimed that the abduction, molestation and attempt to rape a 20-year-old German tourist here was “not a planned” incident.”The accused had not pre-planned the abduction of the German woman and had come to the city only for a late night outing. Before coming to the hotel Taj they visited some multiplex and had drinks at some bar here,” Madhur Verma, Assistant Superintendent of Police, told media persons in Chandigarh late Tuesday evening.

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.

Police had arrested one accused, Pankaj, Monday evening. “He is the son of a head constable of Haryana police. The victim had pointed him out in the identification parade Monday,” Verma said.

Pankaj was produced in a court Tuesday and sent to three-days police remand.

Police have arrested another man, Harpreet Singh from a village near Ambala town in Haryana, around 45 km from here, Tuesday evening.

“Harpreet (22) is the second accused whom police have arrested for his alleged involvement in the case. He has a criminal record and already two cases are registered against him in Ambala,” stated Verma.

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

Meanwhile, German embassy officials and the victim’s father, who arrived in the city Monday, have taken the woman back to Delhi.

The crucial CCTV footage of the Taj Hotel here has added a fresh twist to the case as it showed that 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.

“Three other accused, Sompal, Jolly and Sukhi are still at large. We have their photographs and addresses with us and the police is raiding their possible hideouts in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi,” said Verma.

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

However, there was no confirmation of rape in the medical reports. The police have sent some more samples to a forensic laboratory and are waiting for the report.

“Police have recovered the black Scorpio SUV and white Maruti car used in the crime and our forensic experts will examine the vehicles Wednesday. We will also send a team of forensic experts to the farmhouse near Ambala where the victim was kept for over six hours,” S.S. Srivastava, Senior Superintendent of Police, told IANS.

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