Army jawan Pankaj and his friend Manish were arrested by the Special Investigation Team on Sunday in connection with the gang-rape of a teenager in Haryana’s Rewari earlier this month. The two were on the run since September 12.
Prime accused Nishu, quack Sanjeev and tube-well room owner Deen Dayal have already been arrested in the case. While Nishu is on police remand till September 25, Sanjeev and Deen Dayal have been remanded to judicial custody till October 5. All the five accused identified in the case so far, have now been accounted for with the arrest of the duo.
Superintendent of Police, Nazneen Bhasin, the SIT head, said Pankaj, Manish and Nishu, were involved in several cases of organised gang-rape earlier as well, besides the recent case of the Rewari teenager, but not a single victim could be “positively” identified so far. She said the victims were probably lured from outside the village. She made an appeal to the victims to come forward with the information and assured action on any complaint received by the SIT. She said that Deen Dayal knew for “long” that the place was being used for commission of crime by the accused.
Ms. Bhasin said Pankaj and Manish were nabbed outside a “dhaba” in Mahendergarh’s Satnali around 5 a.m. based on technical surveillance following an input. She said the duo took shelter at “dharamshalas”, stayed in houses on the outskirts of the villages and slept in the open fields and on the mountains while being on the run. The duo also went to Bikaner and Ranthambore in Rajasthan and mostly took shelters at Haryana-Rajasthan border areas, added the police officer.
“The two buried their phones. They did not have enough cash and took help from the petty criminals,” said Ms. Bhasin. She, however, refused to share the details of recoveries made from the two saying that it was “important to maintain the integrity of the investigation”.
She said that more arrests could not be ruled out in the case and roles of more people were being looked into. “It was an organised gang-rape. The investigation is still at a crucial stage. There could be more revelations in the next 24 hours,” said Ms. Bhasin. She added that the investigation in the case was carried out in the shortest “humanly” possible time as the police needed to process every data and follow up every input.