A sessions court on Friday sentenced four convicts in the gangrape of a 19-year-old telephone operator inside Shakti mills compound on July 31, 2013, to life imprisonment. As per the new Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013, the life sentence will continue up to the convict’s natural life.
The victim, a 19-year-old telephone operator along with her then boyfriend had taken a shortcut through Shakti Mills to go to Siddhivinayak Temple on July 31, 2013, when they were dragged into the compound and the woman was sexually assaulted. She reported the case only a month later after another woman – a 22-year-old photojournalist was gangraped in the same premises.
The four accused – Vijay Jadhav (18), Mohammed Qasim alias Bangali (20), Salim Ansari (27) and Ashfaque Shaikh – were awarded life sentence.
While special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam sought maximum punishment looking at the henious nature of the crime, the defence invoked reformatory approach to be applied in this case pointing out at the accused young age. They argued that the convicts came from the lower strata of th society and have faced severe drug abuse and are uneducated. Nikam argued, “The accused treated women as their property to be looted. They showed no mercy towards them. They brutally attacked the women and took turns in indulging in both natural and unnatural sexual acts.”