The police on Monday said the two persons who they had questioned in connection with the rape of a 40-year-old woman IT professional from West Bengal at a five star category backwater island resort at Poovar, about 30 km from the capital city, early on November 28, had, on the face of it, little to do with the crime.
The detained persons were staff members of the resort. The police said the biological evidence collected from the scene of the crime did not match the DNA pattern of the suspects. They were now looking at the lists of guests at the resort, cell phones used in the locality at the time and also certain staff who had recently left the resort for employment elsewhere.
The IT professional, working at the Bangalore office of a multinational conglomerate, was staying there as a guest along with a group of her colleagues as part of an official junket.
Investigators said the woman, a teetotaller, had chosen single occupancy accommodation. She retired to her room after dinner around 11.30 p.m.
According to her statement, two unidentified persons entered her room at 2.30 a.m.
One restrained the victim, while the other raped her in the dark, the police said. The suspects fled when she raised an alarm. She suffered considerable injuries in the incident.
The police said the intruders seemed to have entered her room through the rear door. They said they had collected hair follicles and other biological evidence from the scene of crime.
Meanwhile, the State Women’s Commission (SWC) has demanded that the government introduce immediate and compulsory safety guidelines for resorts and home-stays, to ensure that the Poovar rape is not repeated elsewhere.
The chairperson of the commission and the members who visited the resort at Pozhiyoor on Monday, examined the safety aspect of the rooms and cottages.
They have submitted a detailed report to the Chief Minister, Tourism Minister and the Social Justice Minister.
The commission, which also collected the details of the on-going investigation of the crime from the police, later told the media that incidents like these, would be a major blot on the image of Kerala as a premier tourist destination, raising serious questions on the safety of women travellers coming to the State.