Incident reported from posh condominium in Sector 86 on Thursday; police say victim was climbing stairs to secondfloor apartment when the men confronted her
GURUGRAM: Five men were arrested while two managed to escape on charges of attempting to rape a 21-year-old information technology (IT) professional in a plush condominium in sector 86 on Thursday night when she was climbing the stairs to her secondfloor apartment in a case with all the ingredients that many believe makes Gurugram unsafe : wild young men with means; gangs; guns; and liquor.
High drama ensued after the woman raised an alarm, with residents of the condominium claiming that two of the men arrested, both residents of a firstfloor apartment in the same condominium, were habitual offenders and alleging that police officials delayed filing a first information report (FIR) and tried to cover up the matter, eventually registering an FIR several hours later only after senior police officials were informed .
Police identified the arrested men only by their first names: Ankit alias Kali, his brother Sawan, Abhishek, Mukesh alias Monty and Sachin. Hemant, a native of Badha village near Sector 86 and Kamal alias Nandi are at large. According to the police , Hemant was given police protection after a suspected gangster opened fire on him last year. It isn’t clear why, or whether Hemant is part of a gang.
The flat was owned by Ankit and Sawan’s grandfather; the duo hails from Safidon in Haryana’s Jind district. According to the police, Ankit and Sawan have been staying in the apartment for over two years. While Ankit drives a cab for a private cab aggregator, Sawan works in a private company in Manesar. Abhishek and Mukesh are from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh and had come to the city to attend a function. Sachin hails from Badha village, said police.
According to the police, the incident took place around 9.45 pm when the victim, who returned from office, was cornered by one of the accused in the staircase on the first floor. Kuldeep Kumar, station house officer, Kherki Daula police station said the brothers had invited the five others for a party and were drunk.
“The victim opted to take the stairs to her second floor apartment and was assaulted by the accused in the staircase near the first floor. She managed to run and informed her parents,” said Kumar, adding that the police was informed of the incident at 11.30 pm.
In the FIR filed by the complainant, she said that she was startled in the stairs by a man, who made a “bad noise” causing her to drop her tiffin.
“I was about to pick it up when the man tried to grab my hand. I managed to run. I heard more people laughing (and thought they) may be following. After I reached home, I informed mom and dad. I was really scared. They also tried to threaten my parents ,” she wrote in the complaint. The woman’s parents were taking a post prandial walk inside the complex.
A case was registered against the seven accused on Friday at 5.31 am under sections 354-A (sexual harassment), 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and section 511 (punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment of life or other imprisonment) of Indian Penal Code at Kherki Daula police station, said police.
Police said the five arrested were produced in district court on Friday and remanded to judicial custody.
Denying allegations of any laxity in the probe, the police said a team of officers , including the Assistant Commisioner (south), Station House Officer, Manesar, SHO Kherki Daula and others rushed to “pacify” the residents and avert a “law and order “situation.
“Some of the accused were roughed up by the residents and police tried to prevent the situation from getting out of hand. The investigating team returned around 4 am and filed the FIR,” said Kumar.
Residents alleged that several among the accused habitually indulged in delinquent behaviour, including rash driving, getting drunk and creating a scene, and misbehaving with people.
Jigar Shah, who moved into the condominium over three years ago said: “One of the accused used to flaunt guns in front of the security staff and create a ruckus after drinking. Residents complained to the security team several times and they were let off with a warning.” He added that there had been no previous police complaint.
Another resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the gunman protecting one of the accused, was also involved in the incident and was also drunk.
Dharambir Singh, assistant commissioner of police (ACP), Manesar, said a Haryana police constable was assigned to an accused, Hemant, after an attack on him last year by a gangster.
“We are probing the incident of the previous night and if any evidence is found against the gunman for negligence in duty, a departmental enquiry will be initiated,” he added.