January 31, 2017 2:01:45 am
Shortly before they robbed eight people of Rs 50,000-60,000 and gangraped two women at a poultry farm in Pataudi, the accused had held another man captive at gunpoint near a tubewell in Mandpura village.
Nanhe, a domestic help, said he was standing near the tubewell when “at least four people” robbed him of Rs 1,000. They took his phone, threw away the SIM and locked him up in a small room nearby. “I later managed to climb out the window,” he said.
The accused then entered the property, which houses the farm and a steel factory. It was here that the accused terrorised the eight occupants for the next three hours.
“I heard a knock on my door a little after midnight,” said Kancham Singh, the munshi at the factory, who lives there with four other workers, an employee of the poultry farm, and two of their wives. He said that when he walked into the courtyard, he saw “eight to nine men”, with monkey caps over their faces, holding one of his co-workers at gunpoint.
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Singh’s colleague, too, had come out of his quarters after hearing a knock on the door. “The man who knocked was dressed in what looked like a police uniform. They immediately started beating me up and held a gun to my forehead,” he said.
The assailants then rounded up everyone on the premises, and tied them up. If anyone resisted, they threatened to shoot the man held at gunpoint. They searched all captives, robbing them of their valuables and throwing away their phones, before dividing up the six men and locking them in two rooms.
As the men sat helplessly, four of the accused gangraped the two women. The others picked up “one or two chickens” from the poultry farm, and slaughtered and cooked them. “They kept checking on us regularly,” said Ranjay Yadav, one of the workers.
The ordeal ended at 3 am, when the accused “realised how late it was”. “After they had eaten, one of them drew the attention of the others to the time, after which they all fled, leaving us tied up,” said Vijay Kumar Patel, another worker.
The workers eventually managed to free themselves. “They had broken our phones and discarded the SIM cards but my phone was intact and I had a spare SIM in my room,” said Yadav.
A call was made to the property owner, Pritam Singh, who alerted police.
A day later, the victims are still struggling to come to terms with the incident. “Such is our faith in our neighbours that we leave the main gate of the factory open and sleep. But this incident has scarred us,” said Singh.
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