British woman waiting for Indian police to nab absconding rapist

By Rana Ajit, IANS,

New Delhi : Scarred by the trauma of her rape, a British woman is keen to see that her absconding rapist, an Udaipur-based hotel owner convicted for the crime, is nabbed by police at the earliest.

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The Supreme Court of India, on a plea by the British woman journalist, ordered the “forthwith arrest” of the guilty hotel owner on Jan 16.

However, there is no trace yet of Parbat Singh, the owner of Udaipur Pardeshi Guest House, who is out on bail.

Udaipur police have been given time till Feb 9 to trace Singh, who was sentenced to life in jail in April last year for the rape, but granted bail within three months of his conviction by the Jodhpur bench of the Rajasthan High Court.

The British woman, who had come to India from London in July 2008 to challenge Singh’s release on bail, told IANS: “I am desperate for some peace and I am certain that I would at least feel a sense of justice if he could be found. I have completely lost my former life forever and while he remains free, I somehow feel imprisoned by his liberty and arrogance.”

She was in New Delhi on Jan 16 when the apex court ordered Singh’s arrest and thinks he could have crossed over to Nepal with his German girlfriend.

“He might be trying to go to Germany along with his German girlfriend, who is a very resourceful woman with contacts in various European countries. She might arrange a German passport for him, showing him to be her husband,” the woman told IANS on phone from London.

Meanwhile, the Udaipur police have still not been able to trace Singh.

Udaipur Superintendent of Police Anil Paliwal disconnected the phone when asked by IANS when Singh would be arrested.

Inspector General of Police N.R. Reddy of Udaipur range said on phone that the police were yet to arrest Singh.

“I just came to know that the convict has been absconding since the Supreme Court cancelled his bail,” Reddy told IANS, adding that police had not been able to arrest him till now as an Udaipur court had issued the arrest warrant on Jan 29.

The Udaipur police has been asked to arrest Singh by Feb 9, Reddy added.

Reddy said “my boys will arrest Singh within no time if he is in any corner of Rajasthan”.

“I have already sent a police team to Jodhpur to apprehend a man who had stood surety for Parbat Singh to facilitate his release on bail,” said Reddy.

The British woman was raped on the night of Dec 23-24, 2007, at the Udaipur guest house where she had been staying. In her complaint to Udaipur police, she said she had asked Singh on the intercom to send her an extra blanket. He came with the blanket to her room and raped her.

The woman lodged a criminal case with the help of the British high commission in New Delhi which she contacted Jan 5, 2008, about 10 days after the incident.

A fast track court in Udaipur in April 2008 held Singh guilty and imposed a slew of concurrent penalties on him, including a life term, seven years’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs.35,000.

But in July 2008, the Jodhpur bench of the Rajasthan High Court suspended Singh’s sentence on an appeal by him.