Prepaid Taxi from Delhi Airport. Australian woman, Raja-yoga devotee, robbed and murdered.
Delhi taxi driver kills Aussie tourist
(Thursday, 18 March , 2004, 10:01 @ Sify.Com)
New Delhi: An Australian woman, Daune Emelie Griggs (59), was murdered allegedly by the driver of a pre-paid taxi she hired at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport in the small hours of the day. The body of Griggs was found lying in the bushes behind the IGI airport on Wednesday morning, just hours after she arrived by a Cathay Pacific flight at 2 am. The body had deep wounds and the face had been smashed in apparently with a heavy object.
Police Commissioner K K Paul, informing the media of the murder said a taxi driver, identified as Jyotish Prasad, had been arrested on charges of robbery and murder. Traveller cheques worth Rs 800 and Australian $400, which Griggs was robbed of, have been recovered from his possession.
Joint Commissioner of Police, Operations, S K Chowdhury said that Griggs was an Australian national had a British citizenship as well.
Describing the sequence of events, he said that the victim had arrived at the IGI airport by Cathay Pacific flight No-CX-753 at around 2 am. She had boarded the flight from Brisbane in Australia and was supposed to visit the Brahmakumaris Ashram at Karol Bagh in central Delhi, from where she was to leave for Mount Abu in Rajasthan.
After clearing immigration, she hired a taxi (DL-1T-4428) from the pre-paid booth but failed to reach her destination.
At around 11 am on Wednesday, a call made to the Police Control Room (PCR), said a body of a woman, who appeared to be a foreigner, has been found lying near the railway tracks behind the airport.
Police officers of IGI airport reached the spot and the body was found lying in the bushes near the tracks. There were multiple injury marks on the body and the face was apparently smashed. A close examination revealed that the woman was strangled as there were ligature marks on her neck, Mr Chowdhury said.
During investigation, a police team checked a dry well situated at some 50 yards from the crime spot. They noticed three bags lying in the well. The bags were retrieved and opened by the police. They found a boarding card of Cathay Pacific airlines in one of the bags.
On the basis of the boarding card, the identity of the victim was established. On further inquiry, it was revealed that she had hired a taxi to Karol Bagh from the pre-paid booth. The pre-paid booth operator had filled up the form in her name.
The taxi number then led to the owner of the taxi stand. On being questioned by the police, the owner of the stand told the police that the taxi in question was with Jyotish Prasad, a resident of Bihar. Prasad, who was had a license to pick up tourists from the IGI airport, was picked up by the police from his home at Sahabad Mohammadpur village near the airport.
After sustained interrogation, Prasad confessed to having committed the crime along with an accomplice. When they tried to rob her, she put up a stiff resistance. In the scuffle, Prasad reportedly stabbed her below the eyes with a screw driver. When she fell down, they strangled her and took away her belongings.
During the search, certain travel documents, traveller cheques and Australian dollars were recovered from his possession. Efforts are on to nab Prasad's accomplice, Mr Chowdhury added.
The body has been sent for post-mortem at the Safdarjung Hospital. Officials of Australian High Commission, who reached the IGI airport, later told the police that she had dual nationality.