All the accused in the Shakti Mill gang-rape case in which a telephone operator was the victim today denied the charges against them before the sessions court here. "The court today completed recording of the statements of the accused under section 313 of Criminal Procedure Code," said special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam.
Section 313 provides the accused person an opportunity to explain the circumstances and to refute the allegations.
Principal Sessions Judge Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi, who recorded the statements of the accused in an in-camera hearing, put as many as 496 questions to them. "The accused denied all the allegations against them," Nikam later told reporters.
Police arrested Mohammed Ashfaq Sheikh, Mohamed Kasim Hafiz Sheikh alias Kasim Bangali, Salim Ansari, Vijay Jadhav and a minor boy for gang-rape of the 18-year-old telephone operator on July 31 last year. The minor's case has been separated.
A journalist intern with a magazine was also gang-raped in the same premises a few days later when she had gone there with a male colleague for assignment. Vijay Jadhav, Kasim Bengali,Salim Ansari and Siraj Rehman are accused in this case,alongwith another minor, whose case was separated.