Dhaula Kuan gang-rape convict held for 12 ATM break-ins he committed while out on Covid parole

A 34-year-old man convicted in the infamous 2010 Dhaula Kuan gang-rape case was arrested for 12 ATM break-in thefts that he had allegedly committed along with his associates in December and January, while being out on parole, police said on Tuesday.

Shamshad alias Khutkan, a resident of Faridabad, was arrested on Monday from near the Gokalpuri Metro station when he arrived there to meet his associate. Shamshad allegedly fired at the police party during his attempt to flee. The shot missed the target and nobody was hurt. Police personnel then overpowered him and snatched away his firearm before he could fire again, the police said.

During the interrogation, Shamshad disclosed that he is a life convict in the 2010 Dhaula Kuan gang-rape case. He was released on parole on April 20, 2020, as a part of the exercise to decongest jails in view of Covid-19. Parole was later extended due to the ongoing pandemic till February 20 (Saturday). However, Shamshad did not return to the jail on the proscribed date, said deputy commissioner of police (special cell) Pramod Singh Kushwah.

Police said after being released on parole, Shamshad joined a Mewat-based interstate gang of robbers. He along with others of the gang allegedly committed 12 ATM break-ins in Delhi, between December 2020 and January 2021, and took away cash amounting to 1.35 lakh.

“The gang members used to spray black paint on CCTV cameras after entering the ATM booths. They used to open the ATMs with the help of a gas cutter and remove the cash cabins,” the officer said, adding that the remaining five suspects have also been identified.

Shamshad was previously involved in around 16 criminal cases, including attempt to murder, abduction, rape, arms act and cattle smuggling, in Delhi and Haryana.

In the 2010 gang-rape case, on the night of November 23, Shamdhad and his four associates abducted a 30-year-old BPO executive while she was walking home with a colleague around midnight, in Moti Bagh near Dhaula Kuan, after being dropped off by an office cab from their Gurugram office.

The five men grabbed the women, threatened them with a countrymade pistol and tried to force them into their vehicle – a Tata 407 mini truck. They put the 30-year-old woman into their vehicle while her friend managed to escape after a brief struggle. The five men took turns to rape the woman in the moving vehicle before dumping her at an isolated stretch in outer Delhi’s Mangolpuri.

The police had cracked the case in a week using some key clues provided by the survivor. Police had used the clues to identify the truck as well as the suspects.

The first arrest in the case was made on December 2, when the police caught Shamshad and Usman from Haryana. The other three were caught between December 4 and 6. Police filed the charge sheet on February 2, 2011, and on October 20, 2014, all five accused were awarded life imprisonment by a Delhi court.

It was after this incident that the Delhi Police ordered all call centres in Delhi-NCR to drop women employees home safely and to also provide them security while travelling at night. Police also instructed PCR vans to be visible on roads and one officer to remain outside every such vehicle at all times.

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