The Mumbai crime branch arrested the fifth accused in the gang-rape of the telephone operator at Shakti Mill compound on Saturday. The accused Ashfaq Dawood Sheikh (26), confessed to having been a part of the group that gang-raped the woman.
Sheikh has reportedly told the police that there have been a total of nine gang-rapes in the mill premises till date.
The victim, a telephone operator came forward after news reports of a photojournalist who was gang-raped in the same location.
Sheikh, a resident of Mumbra, was arrested at Girgaum chowpatty.
The police had been tracking his whereabouts. According to sources, it was a female friend of Sheikh, who led the police to him.
During the course of interrogations, Sheikh told the police that after he was interrogated in connection the photojournalist’s gang rape and left as his involvement was ruled, he kept a close tab and news report. As soon as the victim of the second gang rape came forward, in which he was one of the five accused, he decided to run away. He first went to Chennai, then Rajasthan, Ajmer and Vadodara. He then returned to Mumbai. All this while he was in touch with his female friend.
After the accused had fled from Mumbai, a team of crime branch sleuths kept a close tab on Sheikh’s friend as they suspected that he would stay in touch with her. After being on the run for several days, Sheikh came to Mumbai only recently and got in touch with the woman. Apparently, the accused told his friend to meet him at Girgaum Chowpatty from where he was arrested.
SN Choudhary, deputy commissioner of police and Mumbai police spokesperson confirmed the arrest but refused to reveal any further information.
With inputs from Manish K Pathak