The statement given by the 21-year-old colleague of the photojournalist who was gang-raped on Thursday last clearly indicates that he and the victim were tricked and threatened by the five accused and cornered in an isolated spot inside the Shakti Mills compound on Thursday evening.
Following is the statement (dna has a copy) which the victim’s colleague gave to the police on Thursday night.
“On August 22, I reached our office at around 1pm. After completing my work, me and my female colleague left the office around 5pm. We came near Mahalaxmi station and decided to take photographs of Shakti Mill which is situated near the railway tracks. At 5.30pm, both of us reached near a broken wall of the mill compound adjoining the railway tracks.
“We did not find that place proper to enter so we stood there wondering how to enter the mill compound. Just then, two persons came out from inside the mill compound and told us that there was a better road ahead to enter the mill. We went ahead as told by them and we noticed that there was a regular path to go inside the mill compound.
“We entered the mill compound and I started taking photos of the mill with my Nikon camera and my colleague started taking photos with her Apple iPhone. While we were taking the photos, we also noticed a regular road on which vehicles were plying just outside the mill compound and we decided that we will exit from that road after finishing our photo-shoot.
“Around 6.15pm, the two persons who had given us directions earlier came near us. Another bulky person came with them. The bulky person said their boss had seen us taking photographs and we will now have to go and meet him. On hearing this, my colleague said she was willing to talk to the bulky person. But the bulky person refused and ordered us to follow him.
“When we started walking, my colleague took her mobile phone and called the head of our photography department.
However, there was no communication because the photography head’s phone was busy.
“While walking, we insisted that we will walk from the main road where there was some vehicular traffic. But the bulky person refused and said we will have take the same road which we used to enter the mill compound.
“While we were walking, my colleague got a call on her mobile phone from our boss. My colleague told our boss that we were with some railway employees and they were taking us along with them.
As we went ahead, the heavily-built person told us that there was a murder committed inside the mill compound a few days back and I was the one who had committed that murder. He also called two more persons to accompany them. All five of them together told me that I was the murderer.
“We then requested them to let us go but they ordered us to remain quiet. The bulky man then removed his belt and started beating me and then tied my hands behind my back with the belt.
Seeing this, my female colleague pleaded with them and even offered them her mobile phone and my camera. She told them that each of them cost Rs30,000 and asked them to take it and let them leave. But they didn’t listen and one of them removed the belts from my pant and from my colleague’s pant.
“They then checked and found that the belt with which my hands were tied behind my back had become loose, so they once again tied my hands with my belt and even got another rope to tightly tie my hands with.
After this, three persons stood near me, while the bulky person and another person with moustache took my female colleague to a nearby dilapidated room. I was continuously pleading with the three persons who were guarding me to let us go but they did not listen to me.
“After 5-10 minutes the moustached person appeared and then one of the three persons, who were guarding me, went inside. The person with moustache came to me and said, woh bhi kuch nahin bataa rahi hai aur tum bhi kuch nahin bata rahe ho, tum dono ka kuch karna hoga.
“After this, the moustached person started checking my and my colleague’s bags. Another person who was guarding me removed my colleague’s i-pad from her bag and started playing with it.
Man with the moustache also removed a pouch from my colleague’s bag and while he was removing the pouch, a black cloth fell from her bag. He then closed the bag but did not pick up the cloth and left it lying on the ground.
“After sometime, the bulky person and the other person came out and the two others who were standing next to me went inside. After a while, one of the persons who had gone inside came out, this person was slim-built and wearing a blue jeans.
After this, the stout person once again went inside, while all the other four men stood near me. After 10 minutes, the bulky man came outside and said to me tum log bachcha hai. He then untied my hands. At the same time my female colleague also came out, she was scared and caught my hand.
“The five persons then took us near the railway tracks, it was around 7.15pm then. We were asked to stand inside the compound wall as two local trains passed by. After this, the five persons asked us to walk towards Mahalaxmi station and not to look back.
I then asked my colleague what had happened, she then told me that all the five men had raped her six times and she was in pain and bleeding.
She then requested me to take her to hospital. I immediately contacted my boss and informed about the incident and also told him that I am taking her to Jaslok Hospital.
I took a cab from opposite the railway station and took my colleague along with me. On the way to the hospital my boss joined us. We admitted her in Jaslok. After some time police arrived at the hospital.”