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Cops hunt for ‘ragpicker’ witness

Police will take the suspects to Shakti Mills on Tuesday to reconstruct the crime sequence.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: August 27, 2013 1:59:21 am

After arresting all five suspects for the gangrape of a photojournalist,the city police’s Crime Branch is now hunting for a ragpicker who could have witnessed the crime.

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“Investigations indicate that a ragpicker had passed by the scene of the crime while the gangrape was underway. We are trying to identify him and see if he can be a witness,” a crime branch officer said.

The photojournalist’s male colleague,though present nearby,did not witness the crime as he was bound and restrained a short distance away.

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Meanwhile,a four-member team from the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory in New Delhi reached Mumbai Monday to help with crime scene analysis.

“The team will be using a technique known as Rummaging to gather every bit of evidence,which includes pollen grains from the scene of the crime that can be matched with the pollen grains on the clothes of the victim and the suspects,” said a crime branch officer.

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Mumbai Police Commissioner D R Satyapal Singh said a team from the CFSL in Gujarat would also be coming to Mumbai to provide assistance.

The five suspects were also subjected to a potency test on Monday at the J J Hospital so that they could not use impotency as a defence as the trial stage.

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The police will take the suspects to Shakti Mills on Tuesday to reconstruct the crime sequence. Call data records are also being analysed to establish the locations of the suspects on the day and at the time of the crime,as well as the calls that they made to each other,the police said,adding they had also identified the person to whom Qasim Sheikh had sold off his phone.

Meanwhile,one of the phones which had the photograph of the victim,is now empty. Police believe the suspects deleted it. The phone has been sent to Kalina Forensic Laboratory to retrieve the image,Singh said.

The Crime Branch is also trying to retrieve the picture of the victim that suspect Salim Ansari allegedly took with his cellphone. “Ansari has said he took a picture of the victim after the crime was done,but deleted it later. We are trying to retrieve it,” said an officer.

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Meanwhile,the police on Monday produced the fifth suspect,Mohammad Salim Ansari,before the metropolitan magistrate court,which sent him to police custody till September 5.

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Ansari (27),who had fled to Ashok Vihar in Delhi,was apprehended and brought to Mumbai on Sunday night.

Ansari,who did not have any lawyer to represent him,was produced before the court at 1pm. When asked if he had any complaints against the police,Ansari nodded in negative. Ansari is the oldest of the five suspects arrested in the case.

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