JNU rape case: Police say new CCTV footage raises questions
New Delhi: In a fresh twist to the case of a JNU student alleging that she was drugged and raped by a cab driver late last Friday, the police said that they have found CCTV footage in which the woman can purportedly be seen leaving the campus the time she said the crime took place.
The woman, pursuing a foreign language course in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), had alleged that the crime took place while she was returning to the campus on Friday night, police said on Monday.
The police, who had said that there were several inconsistencies in the victim's statement and that no injury marks were found on her body, had faced criticism for not handling the case properly. On Wednesday, the Delhi Commission for Women issued a notice to the police, asking them to share the details of the investigation.
Police sources now said that footage of the woman moving out of the JNU campus at around 1 a.m. on Saturday - when she said the crime took place - had been found, while locals have also claimed that she was roaming around barefoot and creating a scene at the time on the road near the campus.
"As per the current investigation stands, there are many unanswered questions and many things are not matching in her statement as per her claims. We are trying to link all the clues and put them together in order to reach the conclusion. This case is high priority," said a senior police officer associated with the case.
While the woman said that she was returning from a friend's house in a cab when she was sexually assaulted, she later said that that she had gone to a Buddhist shrine in the Mandir Marg area for meditation and not to a birthday party on Panchkuian Road, and police are now probing this.
"We have collected the CCTV footages of the temple premises for investigation," the senior police officer said, adding that the details about a male friend having been with her for a part of the cab ride also seems to be incorrect.
Meanwhile, an inquiry has been initiated into the victim's allegations that a few policemen had refused to help her.
According to the police, a 25-member squad is working in this case and as per the victim's claims, teams are working to zero down on the cab the woman allegedly returned on and which has 9 and 5 on its number plate.
"The woman has also alleged that she was raped around Nelson Mandela Marg... we are examining the CCTV footage from that area," the officer added.
According to the woman's statement, she said that on Friday, she had taken an autorickshaw from the JNU Gate to reach the shrine and had left her phone at the hostel as was her usual practice.
She said that after finishing her meditation around 8 p.m., she waited outside for a taxi or an auto to return to JNU and after some time, approached a passer-by and asked him to help her book a cab.
"The victim had claimed that a black Maruti had come. She said the driver had insisted on her sitting in the front seat beside him. She further claimed that the driver offered her a drink from a bottle after which she started feeling dizzy. She said the driver then started touching her inappropriately. She could recall that the man was driving around on the same roads for some time. When she protested, he began driving towards JNU," police said, citing her complaint.
The woman said that when they reached the Nelson Mandela Marg, the driver continued to drive straight, instead of taking a turn left towards JNU, and she raised an alarm. At this, the driver stopped the car and tried to pull her towards him, but she said that she slapped him, unlocked the door and ran out but he chased her and caught her.
He had then dragged her behind a bus stop where he raped her, she has alleged.
"After gaining consciousness, she managed to reach the Vasant Kunj police station around 1 a.m. But the policemen allegedly refused to help her after which she walked about 6 km to reach a park where she hid herself. Finally, on Sunday, she approached a man who helped her reach the hostel and where she narrated the ordeal to her friend who took her to the hospital," the senior police officer said.
The hospital officials informed the police about the incident and a police team rushed to the hospital and the woman was medically examined. On the basis of her complaint and the medical examination, an FIR was registered at the Mandir Marg police station.