In the same week that the photojournalist was gangraped inside Shakti Mills,one of the five accused is alleged to have sexually assaulted two other persons in Dhobi Ghat on consecutive nights. Family members of one of the victims now claim that the police insulted the victim and did not register a complaint and let off the accused,Siraj Rehman Khan,24,after a sound thrashing.
The Indian Express has learnt that the first victim,a 40-year-old transgender,refused to approach the police,while the second victim,a 32-year-old woman,died in hospital a week later.
In the early hours of August 19,Khan,who is called Sirju by locals,and another man,known locally as Kalli,are alleged to have raped the transgender while all three were intoxicated. The transgender said that on most nights,she would sit to drink with all five accused in Dhobi Ghat.
I had had a lot to drink that night but remember that Khan and Kalli were sleeping next to me. When I woke up the next morning,I realised that they had raped me while I was asleep. I did not go to the police because I know that they wont register my complaint, she said. The transgender claims a small boy was witness to the crime.
Hours later,past 2 am on August 20,Khan is alleged to have carried a 32-year-old woman tuberculosis patient into a dark corner of Dhobi Ghat and raped her. The woman,who is survived by three daughters aged 15,13 and 10 years old,went into shock from that day onwards.
Two nights later,on August 22,Khan and the other accused gangraped the photojournalist.
The daughters say that their mothers health began to deteriorate since that night and they had to admit her to Kasturba Hospital in Agripada on August 26. She passed away the next day. An autopsy,which was conducted a day later at Nair Hospital,concluded she had died of bilateral pulmonary tuberculosis with dissemination to the liver. Her daughters,however,claim that she had been cured of TB a few years ago and that the mortal fear for their safety claimed her.
Another eyewitness,Abid Ali Khan (33),recounted that at 2.15 am on August 20,Khan initially made advances towards the victim when she walked past him. She was going to a public urinal inside the ghat when Khan cut across her path and dragged her to a secluded corner near the ghats entrance. About 10 minutes later,her daughters came rushing and brought her out, Abid said.
The older daughter said she was in her home when a local boy alerted her. He took me to the spot and I pulled Khan off my mother. I dialed 100 on my cellphone and told the police control room what happened. They said they would send someone there. But a few minutes later,when no policeman came,I told my mother that we would go to Agripada police station to register a complaint. Khan said he wouldnt spare us if we went to the police, she claimed.
Khan,she said,attempted to even race them to the police station but reached a couple of minutes after the victim and her daughters. Two male officers and a woman officer in a khaki sari were at the station when we went there. One officer insulted my mother because she would drink a lot. When Khan arrived and tried to explain his side,the men slapped him a couple of times and hit with a belt. The other officer noted down the name,address and cellphone number of my sister in a register and told us that werent required there anymore. The next day,Khan was out, she alleged.
For the next few days,the older daughter said,her mother was extremely scared that Khan would attack again. She was scared that Khan would prey upon one of us. She did not let us out of the house at all, she said. Even when they admitted her to the hospital,she said,her mother was initially stable. Early morning last Tuesday,she suddenly became very sick and died, she said. She was cremated a day later on August 28.
The Agripada police station,however,denied that the girls had come on August 20. Had they come to the police station,we would immediately have registered an FIR, said senior inspector Kishor Baviskar.