18-yr-old tells police she was gangraped on July 31

An 18-year-old telephone operator approached the Mumbai Police Monday night,alleging that she was gangraped by five men inside Shakti Mills premises on July 31.

Written by Gautam S Mengle | Mumbai | Published: September 4, 2013 2:01:48 am

An 18-year-old telephone operator approached the Mumbai Police Monday night,alleging that she was gangraped by five men inside Shakti Mills premises on July 31.

The woman and her boyfriend were walking on the railway tracks and passing by Shakti Mills on the evening of July 31,when they were stopped by three men,who assaulted her boyfriend and dragged the two inside the compound. They were later joined by two others who took turns to rape her,while the boyfriend was tied to a tree,said the police.

The woman who was shown sketches,has identified Salim Ansari,Qasim Shaikh and Vijay Jadhav,who are currently in police custody for the August 22 gangrape of the photojournalist. Based on their questioning,they found the remaining accused were two new accomplices,not connected with the earlier probe. One of them,a minor,was arrested Tuesday evening while the other accused remains at large.

Ansari,Shaikh and Jadhav,in their earlier confession,had allegedly told Crime Branch officers that they had targeted at least three other victims in the past — a ragpicker,a commercial sex worker and a couple. The police now suspect that this could be the couple they were looking for.

After the girl failed to return home on July 31,her mother registered a missing person’s complaint on August 1 with the Bhandup police. After her return on September 1,the Bhandup Police were recording her statement,according to procedure,when the girl broke down and narrated the sequence leading to the gangrape.

In her initial statement to the police,she recounted the sequence — starting from the time she left from work with her boyfriend on July 31 till the day she approached the police a day after she returned home on September 1.

She said that on July 31,her boyfriend called her up around 5.30 pm and asked her if she was free after work as he had something important to discuss with her. The girl agreed and he picked her up from near her workplace around 6.30 pm. They took a train from the Bhandup station,changed to the western line from Dadar and got off at Mahalakhsmi.

“The victim’s boyfriend later told us in his statement that he wanted to propose marriage to her,and was taking her to a garden which is a 10-minute walk from the Mahalakshmi station. The victim has said in her statement that they were exiting the station through the railway tracks and were passing by the entrance of Shakti Mills when three of the five accused accosted them,” said a police officer. “They were dragged inside the compound,where the three called the other two accused. The boyfriend was assaulted and tied to a tree with a dupatta,while the girl was raped.”

After the rape,the accused untied the victim’s boyfriend and left after threatening them with dire consequences if they reported to the police.

For around 30 minutes,the victim and her boyfriend sat at the spot,shocked and traumatised. They then decided to go to a friend’s place in Chhattisgarh. The victim’s boyfriend gave her his T-shirt as her clothes were torn. They took a train from Mumbai Central station and went to the friend’s place.

“The victim and her boyfriend returned to Mumbai on September 1 and went to their respective homes. The victim told her mother what had happened and said that she went away to Chhattisgarh simply because she didn’t know what to do,” said the police officer. “On September 2,her mother inform us that her daughter had returned,and that the missing persons complaint should be cancelled. We told her that as per law,we were required to record her statement. The victim and her mother came to the police station the same afternoon.”

“We informed the N M Joshi police station soon after we found the details to be similar to the Shakti Mills episode and since it falls in their jurisdiction,” said Qaiser Khalid,Additional Commissioner of Police (east region).

“There are being treated as two separate cases and two seperate FIRs have been registered. We are probing the incident that took place on August 22 while NM Joshi Marg police is investigating the rape case of July 31,” said Niket Kaushik,Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch).

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