Birthday bash, then the rape: Police

Had it been any other day, the residents of the densely populated Ravi Dass Camp in R K Puram would have been busy with their household chores or dealing with customers at their roadside stalls, but, on Tuesday, it was different.

All the residents were glued to news channels, utterly shocked to learn that the four men arrested for Munirka gangrape of a 23-year-old paramedic student were from their colony.

For the first time, more than 20 armed policemen swooped on their slum and, within an hour, picked up 10 persons, suspected to be involved in crime. On Tuesday afternoon, Hari Ram collapsed in his house when the Delhi Police Commissioner announced the arrest of his son Vinay and three of his neighbours.

Apart from Vinay, his neighbours Ram Singh, Mukesh Singh and Pawan alias Kalu were arrested on charges of torturing and raping the woman.

Hari Ram, who works at the IGI Airport as a cleaner, said he could not believe the events of the past 24 hours. "My son was watching television on Monday evening, when two police officers came knocking. They asked for my son Vinay. Before I could understand, I saw that the lanes swarming with armed policemen. They asked Vinay where he was on Sunday evening and took him away saying he was needed for questioning. It was only in the morning that he was arrested in connection with the rape of the paramedic student, the news of which was being splashed by TV channels," he said.

According to Umesh, Hari Ram's younger son, around 8 pm on Sunday, when Vinay was at home, one of his friends, Murari, invited him for a birthday treat. Vinay reportedly left the house immediately and was back by 10.30 pm.

"I don't know why Vinay was arrested. If he has committed the crime, then he deserves the most stringent punishment. But he should not be pronounced guilty without a trial. He acted normally when he returned home on Sunday and asked his mother for dinner. After he was picked up by police on Sunday evening, police came back again around midnight and took away his marksheets," Hari Ram said.

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