Chandigarh: Three days after a 20-year-old student was gang-raped near Ludhiana’s Changna Bridge late on Saturday night, three of the accused were arrested on Tuesday, while three more men have been identified.
On Wednesday, police said raids were being conducted at various places to nab the remaining accused.
The arrested men were identified as Jagroop Singh, Ranbir Singh Khatra and Sadiq Ali, said deputy inspector general (DIG) of police Ranbir Singh Khatra.
“After Sadiq’s arrest, it emerged that Jagroop Singh was the prime accused in the case. Upon interrogation, Sadiq confessed to the crime and revealed the involvement of five other men in the case. Besides, Jagroop and Sadiq, the other four accused are Ajay Kumar alias Brij Nandan, Saif Ali, Surmu and one is an acquaintance of Surmu,” DIG Khatra told reporters.
The police said Sadiq was in Ludhiana to meet his relatives, while the rest of the accused are his friends from the same locality.
Khatra said, a conversation between the girl and a boy who had been making unwarranted phone calls to her turned out to be the clinching piece of evidence in the case.
Investigations revealed the calls were made by one ‘Jaspal’. “Police then cross-checked the voters’ list of Gill area and found the main accused, Jagroop’s wife’s name was Jaspal. The link was established,” he said.
When asked if more than six people were involved as alleged by the girl, Khatra said, “The girl has described six sketches to the police. Sadiq’s interrogation also revealed the involvement of six people. If any more people are involved, they will come to the fore after further investigation. Police teams have been sent to neighbouring states and districts.”
“There is no law and order problem. Many couples frequent the locality. The incident is unfortunate”, Khatra added.
The 21-year-old woman was allegedly gang-raped near Issewal village on the banks of Sidwan canal in Ludhiana on the intervening night of February 9 and 10.
The girl in her complaint has alleged gang rape by 10 men, but police after preliminary inquiries said six men were involved.
The girl was travelling in a car with her friend when they were waylaid by two men near Changna Bridge. Their car was attacked with a brick. On stopping, both were dragged out and taken to a nearby vacant spot, where the girl was gang-raped.
The accused even called up the boy’s friend asking for a ransom of Rs 2 lakh, but later left the spot.
The ASI of Mullanpur Dakha police station, who was on duty that night, was suspended the next day for dereliction of duty.
A case of gang rape, extortion and wrongful confinement was later registered.