Police deployed 30 teams to trace bus

Based on the statements given by the December 16 gang rape victim’s male friend, Delhi Police had formed 30 teams in the early hours of December 17 to trace the bus and to arrest all the accused.

Victim’s male friend had given his statement to the police from the hospital — where he was admitted after getting injured in the attack the preceding night — and made a mention of a white chartered bus bearing gold and green stripes over its body with orange curtains behind tinted glasses. The 28-year-old also gave details of the bus route and the time.

 The probe began with a search for CCTV footage, and the investigators knocked on the doors of over 25 hotels in south Delhi’s Mahipalpur to identify the bus. Nearly five years ago, Delhi Police had issued advisory to the building owners to install CCTV cameras facing the main road to ramp up local security and in a quest to nab the criminals. The initiative paid off well, at least in this particular case.

“After examining footage provided by several hotels for over five hours, a white-coloured chartered bus with Yadav Travels written on its body was noticed moving in suspicious condition,” a senior police officer said.

The bus was noticed twice in a time span of mere 20 minutes. It was heading towards Gurgaon at 9.34 pm, while it returned at 9.53 pm. An alert was sent to all police stations that led to the identification of three travel agencies with Yadav in their name.

 After the two operating from Gurgaon threw up blanks, the owner of the third, in Noida, recognised the bus. It had been chartered to a school. Its driver Ram Singh and his helpers and friends had taken it out for a spin on the night of the crime.

The teams then managed to locate the bus parked near Ravi Dass Camp in south Delhi’s R K Puram within a day of the crime. The main accused, Ram Singh, was also found in the bus.

During the course of investigation, Ram tried to mislead the investigators but eventually broke down. He further told police about co-accused involved in the crime. The teams then conducted several raids in around seven states which led to the arrest of the absconding accused.

Police completed the chargesheet within 17 days under the supervision of then Commissioner of Police Neeraj Kumar. Police made its case stronger with the help of electronic and scientific evidence. While being produced before the court, some of the accused pleaded death penalty accepting their crime while rest of them refused to undergo an identification parade. 

The investigating officers succeeded in establishing the presence of accused at the spot of crime through their mobile phone locations, CCTV footage, fingerprints on the bus, DNA and blood samples. The dying statement of the victim added considerable weight to the case in the court.

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