Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: A 36-year-old man accused of criminal assault on a teenaged girl along with his two friends in Germany 12 years ago has been arrested by the Crime Branch of the Delhi police. He was found running a transport business at Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar in Outer Delhi.

Young Jaswant Singh had landed in Germany in 1992 and stayed there illegally. In due course, he started working as a chef at a restaurant in Darmstadt. In the early hours of August 2, 1997, he and his friends Karan Singh and Mohammad Shahzad, a Pakistan national, allegedly overpowered a 17-year-old girl, dragged her inside a park and criminally assaulted her.

The victim lodged a complaint with the police. The accused were identified when the owner of the restaurant where Jaswant and Karan worked overheard them discussing the incident and alerted the police.

Acting on the tip-off, the German police arrested Karan and Shahzad, but Jaswant vanished from the scene. The victim purportedly identified him as one of the perpetrators through his photographs.

The German police could not trace Jaswant as they had little information about him, primarily because he was staying there as an illegal immigrant on a fake identity. Jaswant made his way back to India through Amsterdam in Holland, the police said.

Karan and Shahzad were put to trial and sentenced to 10 and 8 years’ imprisonment, respectively, in July 1998.

The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in New Delhi forwarded copies of the case records to the Indian External Affairs Ministry in 2008 requesting initiation of criminal proceedings against the missing suspect. Subsequently the Crime Branch of the Delhi police was entrusted the task of locating him. The police deployed their sources in different parts of Punjab and also roped in immigration agents to develop information on his whereabouts. He was finally arrested from his house in Adarsh Nagar here on Sunday night.

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