After the barbaric gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi on December 16 last year, many in Mumbai thought that such an incident cannot occur here.
This was proved wrong when a 22-year-old photojournalist was allegedly gang-raped by five men in the heart of the city.
On August 22, a photojournalist and her male colleague were at Shakti Mill Compound near Mahalaxmi station for an assignment. The mill, a dilapidated structure, has been abandoned for many years. Five youths threatened them. The male colleague was tied with his own belt and the woman raped by the youths.
The incident shocked the city as the crime had taken place in the heart of the city and that too early in the evening. Women’s safety in Mumbai was once again in focus.
The crime branch managed to nab all the accused persons within three days of the crime. While one was a minor, the others arrested were Vijay Jadhav, Mohammad Kasim Sheikh alias Bangali, Siraj Rehman Khan alias Sarju and Salim Mohammad Quddus Ansari, the group leader.
After the incident, Jadhav went to practise for Dahi Handi at Lower Parel. Jadhav and Ansari went to watch a movie at a theatre in Mumbai Central the next day. The police arrested the minor accused when he was watching a film at a video parlour. Khan was found resting at his sister’s place at Mumbra. Ansari was caught in Delhi. This was the first case in which the police got potency tests conducted on the accused to strengthen their case.
After this incident, the police came to know that some of the arrested youths had also gang-raped a 19-year-old telephone operator at the same place on July 31. The girl registered a complaint after the photojournalist’s gang-rape case. “It was absolutely a critical case for me as well as for the crime branch. We put in all our resources, revived network of informants and used the technical surveillance to crack the case. Even after the incident, I still feel Mumbai is a safe place,” said Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police, crime.
August 2013: A photojournalist was gang-raped by five men inside Shakti Mill Compound (in picture). Later, it was found that the accused had targeted several women in the past.
November 2013: A 16-year-old girl was gang-raped by her friends in Goregaon. The boys had taken the girl along with them on the pretext of celebrating Diwali. The six boys were arrested.
November 2013: A 17-year-old girl was raped by four in Borivli . She knew one of the accused, who along with his three friends dragged her inside a tempo and raped her. They were arrested.