Friday, October 17, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Raped Swiss diplomat returns home
Boy tries to rape 6-year-old girl
Tribune News Service and Agencies

Sketches of two suspects involved in the rape of a Swiss national released by the Delhi police on Thursday.
Sketches of two suspects involved in the rape of a Swiss national released by the Delhi police on Thursday.

New Delhi, October 16
The 35-year-old Swiss diplomat, who was robbed and raped on Tuesday night inside her own car outside the venue of the International Film Festival here, today took the first available flight for Switzerland.

Swiss Ambassador here, Mr Walter B Gyger, confirmed that the diplomat had returned home. He added that the Swiss Embassy was receiving all support from the Indian authorities and was confident that the security forces in Delhi would take necessary measures.

A meeting was held in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) between MEA, Secretary, Mr Shashank, and the Swiss Ambassador, Mr Gyger. Mr Shashank conveyed the government’s deep regret at the unfortunate incident and said the ministry was determined to ensure that the perpetrators of the crime were brought to the book and full justice was done.

Meanwhile, under pressure from all quarters, the Delhi police today questioned more than 300 persons matching the description of the suspects involved in the rape of a Swiss diplomat outside the Siri Fort Auditorium on Tuesday night.

The police has released identikit pictures of the two suspects based on the description provided by the victim.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, expressed shock at the incident and directed both the Lieut-Governor and Delhi Police Commissioner R.S. Gupta to take all possible steps to arrest the suspects.

The victim was inadvertently referred to as a Swedish national in Wednesday’s report because of the initial confusion caused by an attempt at protecting her identity by the law enforcement agencies.

With the rape causing a major flutter in the diplomatic circles, Police Commissioner Gupta told The Tribune: “Tuesday’s two incidents outside the Siri Fort auditorium were most unfortunate and need to be strongly condemned.”

He, however, was confident that the investigations were heading in the right direction and said, “Very soon we should be able to reach the accused so that they could be tried and punished”.

A cigarette lighter with fingerprints is said to have been recovered from the crime site.

Meanwhile, two days after she was allegedly assaulted outside the Siri Fort Auditorium, filmmaker Akanksha Joshi today appeared before mediapersons, claiming that the attack on her was similar to the one on the Swiss diplomat, but she had thwarted the abduction attempt.

“But for my presence of mind, I too could have met the same fate as the Swiss diplomat faced (who was abducted from the same place and raped),” said Joshi, who in her initial statement, had told the police that two unidentified men had made an attempt to rob her, but later added that they had also tried to abduct her.

“There seems to be a similar pattern in the two incidents,” she said, sitting in a hospital here with a bandaged head.

Drawing a parallel between the two incidents that occurred within a span of 30 minutes, Joshi said after watching a movie at the International Film Festival of India, she had just sat in her car when she felt two hands trying to grab her by the neck.

“The man then asked me to get out of the car while another managed to open the other door and sat in the seat next to the driver’s seat,” she said.

At this, she started screaming and threw the car keys outside, Joshi said, adding that the attackers then dragged her out of the car and banged her head repeatedly on the pavement.

On hearing her screams, an elderly couple approached the car and the two men fled, leaving behind the profusely bleeding girl.

“Had I not thrown away the keys, they would have surely driven off with me. That was their motive,” she said.

Meanwhile, in another shocking incident, a 16-year-old boy attempted to rape a six-year-old girl at Mahipalpur village in South Delhi last night, the police said today.

The accused is at large and efforts are on to arrest him.

According to the police, the victim was being assaulted by the accused for quite sometime.

In another case, a class IV student was arrested for molesting a three-and-a-half-year old girl at his residence at Mir Darg Road in Central Delhi last evening. The incident occurred when the girl, who was playing near her house, went to the boy’s residence.

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