Terming the Saki Naka custodial rape case a ‘premeditated’ crime, the Mumbai police Crime Branch fixed conspiracy charges on three of its own men, coupled with evidence on sexual offence inside a police outpost.
The chargesheet — which lists more than 30 witnesses in a probe that runs into 1,168 pages — has booked the three police personnel on charges of custodial rape, extortion and threat. Assistant Police Inspector Sunil Khatpe along with co-accused Assistant Police Inspector Suryavanshi, constable Yogesh Ponde and five other police informers have been booked for criminal conspiracy under IPC section 120 (b), outraging modesty of a woman (section 354), abduction (section 365), theft (section 379), extortion (section 384), extortion by threat of accusation of offence (section 388).
Atulchandra Kulkarni, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) told The Indian Express, “We have gathered evidence against one of the arrested officers (Khatpe). There are more than 30 witnesses who we have made inquiries with,” Kulkarni added.
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On April 23, a 29-year-old model approached the Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria alleging that she was taken to the Sangharsh Nagar police chowky on the night of April 2 and held there till morning. The victim alleged that the accused extorted about Rs 10 lakh from her and her male friend. She also claimed Khatpe forced her to perform oral sex on him twice at the police outpost.
The chargesheet takes on record the victim’s statement recorded under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code ( CrPC). It also includes the statement of the male friend and over 30 witnesses including that of Asif Khan, son of Congress leader Arif Naseem Khan.
Call Data Records ( CDR) and other technical evidence are also a part of the chargesheet.
Crucial to the chargesheet is the medical report submitted by the State Kalina Forensic Laboratory ( FSL), confirming the sexual abuse.
“The medical test conducted on the victim, a day after she lodged the complaint, has come positive, thereby supporting our case,” a senior police officer confirmed.The police have also attached the statements of the panchas who helped them reconstruct the case.