A bitter feud between a 19-year-old Badlapur resident and her alleged paramour is believed to have led to her abduction,assault and gangrape last week,police officers investigating the case said. The victim was allegedly having an affair with the main accused,whose wife was allegedly complicit in the crime.
According to police,the wife,Mamta Nishad,28,wanted to teach the victim a lesson; the husband,Jeetu,30,resented the victim for having severed ties with him after a showdown with Mamta six months ago.
Jeetu also suspected that the victim had had a role in his car catching fire four months ago,police said.
Besides the married,Taloja-based couple,two of their relatives,including an elderly woman,five friends from their neighbourhood,and a sixth friend Munna Rai who allegedly drove the autorickshaw in which the victim was abducted,have also been named as accused.
On Friday,Jeetu and Mamta allegedly forced the victim into an autorickshaw and took her to a flat in Kharghar,Navi Mumbai,where she was allegedly assaulted and gangraped by seven men,including Jeetu.
The victim managed to flee and reached Dombivli,after which she approached the Manpada police. Four of the ten accused have been arrested. Police have launched a manhunt in Mumbai and Thane for the others.
A Manpada police officer said on Monday that the victim,whose husband left her last year,cut off ties with Jeetu after Mamta barged into her home and assaulted her. A desperate Jeetu started harassing her,calling and visiting,but she refused to meet him,the officer said.
Around four months ago,Jeetus car was set on fire by unknown persons and he suspected that it was the victims handiwork. He tried getting in touch with her but she continued to avoid him. He then told Mamta that they should teach her a lesson,and Mamtas brother Santosh Ganote (23) agreed to help. The trio enlisted the help of friends from their area. Mamtas mother Vasubai Ganote too was part of the plan, the officer said.
Police detained Jeetu,Mamta,Vasubai and Munna on Sunday night,and arrested them the following morning. Three teams in Thane and Navi Mumbai are working on the case,and we will nab the remaining accused soon, zonal deputy commissioner of Police Parag Manere said. I can only say that a family dispute has led to the crime.